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Science Standards

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years ago

State Board of Education Science Standards

 


 

Introduction to This Page

The Science Standards are one several “Standards” documents composed and maintained by the State Board of Education. There are other standards, reading and math come to mind, but it is the science standards that contain the material on evolution.

      Each standard document provides guidance for school district curriculum as a whole and for teaches responsible for the subjects included. However, the documents state in several different ways that they are guidance only and are not intended to force on local schools or their teachers a specific method or approach in their teaching. The only aspect of force from the state level to the local school is that these standards are the base from which questions on the state assessment tests are formed. Thus, if the student’s instruction does not in some way incorporate the material identified, the students may perform poorly on the portion skipped over.

      The best definitive statement I have found about what these Standards are comes from a document on the KSDE website titled "A Guide to the Kansas Curricular Standards". This is, I assume a pamphlet that was composed to assist parents in understanding them. The only date on the document is April, 2006. You can view the document at this location. The pertinent text is:

The State Board of Education has established rigorous academic standards for all students in the core subject areas of reading, mathematics, science, history/government and writing. The standards are general statements of what students should know and be able to do at various grade levels and are provided to schools as a guide in preparing classroom content.

      To ensure students are meeting the expectations established by the State Board, tests were developed from the curricular standards adopted by the State Board. All accredited schools in the state are required to administer the tests, which are known as state assessments. The questions included on the assessments represent the knowledge students are expected to have in each subject area, but may not include every item in the state standards. This document reflects the items chosen for inclusion on the state tests at the high school level.

 

To begin your study, I highly recommend that you read the Introduction first. The pertinent text is provided in the next section. Click on this link, Science Standards to view the KSBE page where an Introduction and the current approved Science Standards are located.

 

My comments will be in blue.

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Excerpts from the Science Education Standards Introduction

After reading this 13-page Introduction, I see nothing that should be an issue with evolutionists, creationists or those following in-between. Science has a legitimate interest in attempting to discover the origins of life and the universe. My opinion is without spirit, which comes from God, they will not be successful, but the investigation is well worthwhile. We have all benefited from scientific inquiries into these questions in our civilization, knowledge and technology.

 

Again, if you are concerned with the Standards, if you really want to know what is actually written and if you desire to find out if the many press articles ridiculing the work that has been completed and approved are valid; read this Introduction. Below, I have copied 4 sections that I feel are especially pertinent to the issues surrounding these standards.

 

*Purpose of this Document

These standards, benchmarks, indicators, and examples are designed to assist Kansas educators in selecting and developing local curricula, carrying out instruction, and assessing students' progress. They will also serve as the foundation for the development of state assessments in science. Finally, these standards, benchmarks, indicators, and examples represent high, yet reasonable, expectations for all students.

The Kansas Science Education Standards:

(1) Provide criteria Kansas educators and stakeholders can use to judge whether particular actions will serve the vision of a scientifically literate society.

(2) Bring coordination, consistency, and coherence to the improvement of science education.

(3) Advocate that science education must be developmentally appropriate and reflect a systemic, progressive approach throughout the elementary, middle, and high school years. (See Implementation, p. vii)

These standards should not be viewed as a state curriculum or instructional strategy. The content embodied in these standards can be organized and presented with many different emphases and perspectives in local district curricula.

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  • Implementation of the Kansas Science Education Standards:

Actions by Kansas school districts to implement the Kansas Science Education Standards (KSES) should include:

1. Use the KSES as a framework for local curriculum, including Extended Standards for special needs students. The KSES provides a framework for building local curriculum. Local curriculum, developed from these standards, determines what is taught/learned in science.

 

5. Classroom teachers select developmentally appropriate instructional strategies to develop the understandings and abilities described in the KSES. The importance of inquiry does not imply that all teachers should pursue a single approach to teaching science.

 

6. Develop local assessments that support the KSES and extend beyond learning the measured Kansas Science Assessments. Local curriculum also provides local districts with a guide for selecting instructional resources.

There are actually 12 points in the implementation, but the 3 above clearly indicate that the local science curriculum is free to address subjects beyond the Standards.

 

  • Teaching With Tolerance and Respect

Science studies natural phenomena by formulating explanations that can be tested against the natural world. Some scientific concepts and theories (e.g., blood transfusion, human sexuality, nervous system role in consciousness, cosmological and biological evolution, etc.) may differ from the teachings of a student’s religious community or their cultural beliefs. Compelling student belief is inconsistent with the goal of education. Nothing in science or in any other field of knowledge shall be taught dogmatically.

A teacher is an important role model for demonstrating respect, sensitivity, and civility. Science teachers should not ridicule, belittle or embarrass a student for expressing an alternative view or belief. In doing this, teachers display and demand tolerance and respect for the diverse ideas, skills, and experiences of all students.

Nature of Science (paragraph 2)

 

Scientific explanations must meet certain criteria. Scientific explanations are consistent with experimental and/or observational data and testable by scientists through additional experimentation and/or observation. Scientific explanation must meet criteria that govern the repeatability of observations and experiments. The effect of these criteria is to insure that scientific explanations about the world are open to criticism and that they will be modified or abandoned in favor of new explanations if empirical evidence so warrants. Because all scientific explanations depend on observational and experimental confirmation, all scientific knowledge is, in principle, subject to change as new evidence becomes available. The core theories of science have been subjected to a wide variety of confirmations and have a high degree of reliability within the limits to which they have been tested. In areas where data or understanding is incomplete, new data may lead to changes in current theories or resolve current conflicts. In situations where information is still fragmentary, it is normal for scientific ideas to be incomplete, but this is also where the opportunity for making advances may be greatest. Science has flourished in different regions during different time periods, and in history, diverse cultures have contributed scientific knowledge and technological inventions. Changes in scientific knowledge usually occur as gradual modifications, but the scientific enterprise also experiences periods of rapid advancement. The daily work of science and technology results in incremental advances in understanding the world.

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Science Standards Brochure

This document has been published to the ksde website with a date of July, 2006. It is formatted in Acrobat PDF and located at http://www.ksde.org. On the right side of the page, under "Hot Topics," you will see the "Science Standards Brochure" as a link. The actual title of this document is "Kansas Science Standards Summary of Changes"

 

My selected excerpts of the standards (below this topic) were my best guess as to which standards were changed. This brochure has explicitly laid out which Standards, Indicators and Additional Specificity were changed.

 

The brochure is formatted as 7 questions with answers about the Science Standards. I have copied the entire text below.

 

1. What is the rationale of the Board for making these changes?

The Board provided the following rationale for their decision:

 

“Rationale of the State Board for Adopting these Science Curriculum Standards

We believe it is in the best interest of educating Kansas students that all students have a good working knowledge of science: particularly what defines good science, how science moves forward, what holds science back, and how to critically analyze the conclusions that scientists make.

Regarding the scientific theory of biological evolution, the curriculum standards call for students to learn about the best evidence for modern evolutionary theory, but also to learn about areas where scientists are raising scientific criticisms of the theory. These curriculum standards reflect the Board’s objectives: 1) to help students understand the full range of scientific views that exist on this topic, 2) to enhance critical thinking and the understanding of the scientific method by encouraging students to study different and opposing scientific evidence, and 3) to ensure that science education in our state is “secular, neutral, and non-ideological.”

From the testimony and submissions we have received, we are aware that the study and discussion of the origin and development of life may raise deep personal and philosophical questions for many people on all sides of the debate. But as interesting as these personal questions may be, the personal questions are not covered by these curriculum standards nor are they the basis for the Board’s actions in this area.”

 

 

2. Do the standards include Intelligent Design?

The following statements are found in the science standards:

 

“Evolution is accepted by many scientists but questioned by some. The Board has heard credible scientific testimony that indeed there are significant debates about the evidence for key aspects of chemical and biological evolutionary theory. All scientific theories should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered. We therefore think it is important and appropriate for students to know about these scientific debates and for the Science Curriculum Standards to include information about them. In choosing this approach to the science curriculum standards, we are encouraged by the similar approach taken by other states, whose new science standards incorporate scientific criticisms into the science curriculum that describes the scientific case for the theory of evolution.

We (the Kansas Board of Education) also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design, the scientific disagreement with the claim of many evolutionary biologists that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion. While the testimony presented at the science hearings included many advocates of Intelligent Design, these standards neither mandate nor prohibit teaching about this scientific disagreement.”

 

 

3. How has the definition of science changed from 2001 to 2005?

The Science Standards from 2001 used the following definition of science:

“Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us” (p. 4, KSES, 2001).

The 2005 standards use the following definition:

“Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observations, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena” (p. ix, KSES, 2005).

 

 

4. What changes were made in the Science as Inquiry Standard?

The KSBE added the following indicator to the Grades 8 – 12 Science as Inquiry section of the KSES approved November 8, 2005:

Indicator 1.1.6

“The student understands methods used to test hypotheses about the cause of a remote past event (historical hypothesis) that cannot be confirmed by experiment and/or direct observation by formulating competing hypotheses and then collecting the kinds of data (evidence) that would support one and refute the other” (p. 59, KSES, 2005).

Additional Specificity 1.1.6.a – c:

“6. a. Formulate multiple hypotheses about a singular historical event and develops a ”best current explanation” of what caused the event, such as the cause of a fire or death.

   b. Predict the kinds of circumstantial evidence that one would observe under each hypothesis.

   c. Collect evidence and draw an inference as to the best explanation and whether the evidence fits either hypothesis. Explains why either explanation cannot be entirely validated by a laboratory experiment” (p.59, KSES,2005).

 

 

5. What changes were made to the Life Science Standard dealing with evolution?

The KSBE added the following to the Grades 8 – 12 Life Science section of the KSES approved November 8, 2005:

 

Additional Specificity 3.2.1.c

“The sequence of the nucleotide bases within genes is not dictated by any known chemical or physical law” (p. 73, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 3.3.1.a

“Biological evolution postulates an unguided natural process that has no discernable direction or goal” (p. 75, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 3.3.1.c

“However, in many cases the fossil record is not consistent with gradual, unbroken sequences postulated by biological evolution” (p. 75, KSES 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 3.3.1.d

There are observable similarities (KSBE added the following to this statement) “and differences among fossils and living organisms” (p. 75, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 3.3.1.f.i-iii

“f. The view that living things in all the major kingdoms are modified descendants of a common ancestor (described in the pattern of a branching tree) has been challenged in recent years by:

Discrepancies in the molecular evidence (e.g., differences in relatedness inferred from sequence studies of different proteins) previously thought to support that view. A fossil record that shows sudden bursts of increased complexity (the Cambrian Explosion), long periods of stasis and the absence of abundant transitional forms rather than steady gradual increases in complexity, and Studies that show animals follow different rather than identical early stages of embryological development” (p. 75-76, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 3.3.3.d

“Whether microevolution (change within a species) can be extrapolated to explain macroevolutionary changes (such as new complex organs or body plans and new biochemical systems which appear irreducibly complex) is controversial. These kinds of macroevolutionary explanations generally are not based on direct observations and often reflect historical narratives based on inferences from indirect or circumstantial evidence” (p. 76, KSES, 2005)

 

Additional Specificity 3.3.6.c

“However, reverse engineering and end-directed thinking are used to understand the function of bio-systems and information” (p. 77, KSES, 2005).

 

Indicator 3.3.7

“The student explains proposed scientific explanations of the origin of life as well as scientific criticisms of those explanations” (p. 77, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 3.3.7.a-c

“7. Some of the scientific criticisms include:

   a. A lack of empirical evidence for a “primordial soup” or a chemically hospitable pre-biotic atmosphere;

   b. The lack of adequate natural explanations for the genetic code, the sequences of genetic information necessary to specify life, the biochemical machinery needed to translate genetic information into functional biosystems, and the formation of proto-cells; and

   c. The sudden rather than gradual emergence of organisms near the time that the Earth first became habitable” (p. 78-78, KSES, 2005).

 

 

6. What changes were made to the History and Nature of Science Standard?

The KSBE added the following to the Grades 8 – 12 History and Nature of Science section of the KSES approved November 8, 2005:

 

Additional Specificity 7.1.1

“Science is used by researchers to develop new medicines and by parents to promote the health of their families” (p 100, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 7.1.2

“…articles in (scientific journals) and other peer reviewed literature” (p 100, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 7.1.3

“Decisions the culture makes about bioethics and the use and extraction of natural resources are significantly impacted by scientific knowledge” (p100, KSES, 2005).

 

Indicator 7.2.1

The student will understand scientific knowledge describes and explains the (The board added the following to this statement) “natural world. Scientific knowledge is provisional and is subject to change as new evidence becomes available” (p 101, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 7.2.1.b

“Science that is truly open-ended, and that allows evidence rather than preconceptions to guide explanation is the strongest and allows for constant refining and improvement of its explanations” (p 101, KSES, 2005).

 

Additional Specificity 7.3.1.b

Science progresses by incremental advances of scientists or teams of scientists. (The board added the following) “In addition, it progresses by critical analysis of: 1) properly collected data; and 2) existing theories and hypotheses, which can lead to major new scientific advances (e.g., relativity,plate tectonics, quantum theory, biological evolution)” (p 103, KSES, 2005).

 

 

7. What is the purpose of the Kansas Science Education Standards?

The purpose of the KSES is included in the introduction of the document and states the following:

 

“These standards, benchmarks, indicators, and examples are designed to assist Kansas educators in selecting and developing local curricula, carrying out instruction, and assessing students' progress. They will also serve as the foundation for the development of state assessments in science. Finally, these standards, benchmarks, indicators, and examples represent high, yet reasonable, expectations for all students” (p. iv, KSES, 2005).

It would be most gratifing to have those who think these changes are "bad" to express their opinions in the forum link. This link is the red state of Kansas at the top of the sidebar.

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The Science Standards Document Overview

The Word file containing the Standards is 1.2MB in size, 110 pages long. This is a very large document. This section attempts to capture all the references to evolution.

 

The Science Standards page provides a link to the full science standards in MS Word or PDF format. I suspect that in its final form, you will have a difficult time finding the changes approved in 2005. This is disheartening for here is where the crux of the evolution issues lies.

 

The organization of the document appears to be in the following order, which I will try to follow:

 

   Standard Number

   Benchmark Number

   Applicable Grade(s)

   Indicator

The Indicators are bullets in a 2-columned table, on the left is the bullet and on the right Instructional Examples. Below each Standard/Benchmark/Grade table are Teacher Notes that relate to the Indicators. I am using the MS Word document copy and am including the page number of the reference last. If possible you should download the Standards and verify the accuracy of what follows to your satisfaction. The words bolded in the text indicate the areas that I am commenting on or where controversy may occur. Let us begin!

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Standard 3: Life Science, Grades 5-7, Page 43

Benchmark 5,

Indicator: The student understands that adaptations of organisms (changes in structure, function, or behavior that accumulate over successive generations) contribute to biological diversity.

Instructional Examples: compares characteristics of birds such as beaks, wings, and feet, with how a bird behaves in its environment. Then works in a cooperative group to design different parts of an imaginary bird. Relates characteristics and behaviors of that bird with its structures.

Teacher Notes: Millions of species of animals, plants and microorganisms are alive today. Animals and plants vary in body plans and internal structures. The theory of biological evolution is an explanation of how gradual changes of characteristics of organisms over many generations may have resulted in variations among populations and species. Therefore, a structural characteristic, process, or behavior that helps an organism survive in its environment is called an adaptation. When the environment changes and the adaptive characteristics are insufficient, the species becomes extinct.

   As they investigate different types of organisms, teachers guide students toward thinking about similarities and differences. Students can compare similarities between organisms in different parts of the world, such as tigers in Asia and mountain lions in North America to explore the concept of common ancestry. Instruction needs to be designed to uncover and correct misconceptions about natural selection. Students tend to think of all individuals in a population responding to change quickly rather than over a long period of time. Using examples such as Darwin’s finches help develop understanding of natural selection over time. Providing students with fossil evidence and allowing them time to construct their own explanations is important in developing middle level students’ understanding of extinction as a natural process that has affected Earth’s species over time.

The bolded text may raise warning bells in the devout evolutionist but the statements certainly appear reasonable to me. I hope to investigate Darwin's Finches as I develop the website..

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Standard 7: History and Nature of Science, Grades 5-7, Page 56

 

Benchmark 1: The student will develop scientific habits of mind.

 

Indicator: The student practices intellectual honesty, demonstrates skepticism appropriately, displays open-mindedness to new ideas, and bases decisions on evidence.

Instructional Examples:(several, this is one) shares interpretations that differ from currently held explanations on topics such as global warming and dietary claims. Evaluates the validity of results and accuracy of stated conclusions.

Teacher Notes: Science requires varied abilities depending on the field of study, type of inquiry, and cultural context. The abilities characteristic of those engaged in scientific investigations include: reasoning, intellectual honesty, tolerance of ambiguity, appropriate skepticism, open-mindedness, and the ability to make logical conclusions based on current evidence.

Teaching a student to be open-minded yet skeptical until enough evidence is presented for acceptance should develop an inquiring approach to scientific hypotheses, theories and laws..

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Standard 1: Science As Inquiry, Grades 8-12, Page 59

Benchmark 1: The student will demonstrate the abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.

 

Indicator: The student understands methods used to test hypotheses about the cause of a remote past event (historical hypothesis) that cannot be confirmed by experiment and/or direct observation by formulating competing hypotheses and then collecting the kinds of data (evidence) that would support one and refute the other

Instructional Examples:(several, this is one) (a) Formulate multiple hypotheses about a singular historical event and develops a ”best current explanation” of what caused the event, such as the cause of a fire or death.(b) Predict the kinds of circumstantial evidence that one would observe under each hypothesis. (c) Collect evidence and draw an inference as to the best explanation and whether the evidence fits either hypothesis. Explains why either explanation cannot be entirely validated by a laboratory experiment.

Teacher Notes: Students actively involved in asking and answering their own questions, can connect the science they are learning in the classroom with real-world applications.

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Standard 3: Life Science, Grades 8-12, Page 75

Benchmark 3: The student will understand the major concepts of the theory of biological evolution.

 

LIFE SCIENCE – The student will develop an understanding of the cell, molecular basis of heredity, biological evolution, interdependence of organisms, matter, energy, and organization in living systems, and the behavior of organisms.

 

There are 7 indicators and each has several Instructional Examples. It will be to your benefit to look at the actual document here, downloaded from the ksde website. The Teacher Notes for this standard are very short as follows:

The life science standards provide a framework for a variety of courses in the life sciences. Evolution is a key theoretical framework for the life sciences; these indicators should be part of any life science course curriculum, including biology, botany, zoology, and microbiology.

 

I will now list each Indicator by number followed by the 2nd column of the table, now labeled as "Additional Specificity".

Indicator 1: The student understands biological evolution, descent with modification, is a scientific explanation for the history of the diversification of organisms from common ancestors.

Additional Specificity:

(a)Biological evolution postulates an unguided natural process that has no discernable direction or goal.

(b) The presence of the same materials and processes of heredity (DNA, replication, transcription, translation, etc.) is used as evidence for the common ancestry of modern organisms.

(c) Patterns of diversification and extinction of organisms are documented in the fossil record. Evidence also indicates that simple, bacteria-like life may have existed billions of years ago. However, in many cases the fossil record is not consistent with gradual, unbroken sequences postulated by biological evolution.

(d) The distribution of fossil and modern organisms is related to geological and ecological changes (i.e. plate tectonics, migration). There are observable similarities and differences among fossils and living organisms.

(e) The frequency of heritable traits may change over a period of generations within a population of organisms, usually when resource availability and environmental conditions change as a consequence of extinctions, geologic events, and/or changes in climate.

(f) The view that living things in all the major kingdoms are modified descendants of a common ancestor (described in the pattern of a branching tree) has been challenged in recent years by: (i)Discrepancies in the molecular evidence (e.g., differences in relatedness inferred from sequence studies of different proteins) previously thought to support that view. (ii) A fossil record that shows sudden bursts of increased complexity (the Cambrian Explosion), long periods of stasis and the absence of abundant transitional forms rather than steady gradual increases in complexity, and (iii) Studies that show animals follow different rather than identical early stages of embryological development.

It is difficult not to bold all of the above text!.

 

Indicator 2: The student understands populations of organisms may adapt to environmental challenges and changes as a result of natural selection, genetic drift, and various mechanisms of genetic change.

Additional Specificity:

(a) Genetic changes occur only in individual organisms. New heritable traits may result from new combinations of genes and from random mutations or changes in the reproductive cells. Except in very rare cases, mutations that may be inherited are neutral, deleterious or fatal.

(b) Natural selection and genetic drift occur within populations or organisms.

(c) Variation among individuals in a population allows individuals to respond differently to environmental challenges.

Indicator 3: The student understands biological evolution is used to explain the earth’s present day biodiversity: the number, variety and variability of organisms.

Additional Specificity:

(a) Separate populations within a species may become sufficiently different enough that new species develop. This process is called speciation.

(b) Changes in inherited traits accumulate in populations.

(c) Historically only a small percentage of species have survived to modern times.

(d) Whether microevolution (change within a species) can be extrapolated to explain macroevolutionary changes (such as new complex organs or body plans and new biochemical systems which appear irreducibly complex) is controversial. These kinds of macroevolutionary explanations generally are not based on direct observations and often reflect historical narratives based on inferences from indirect or circumstantial evidence.

Indicator 4: The student understands organisms vary widely within and between populations. Variation allows for natural selection to occur.

Additional Specificity:

(a) Heritable variation exists in every species.

(b) New heritable traits result from new combinations of genes and from mutations or changes in the reproductive cells.

(c) Variation of organisms within and among species increases the likelihood that some members will survive under changing environmental conditions.

(d) Times, populations, or entire lineages become extinct. One effect of this is to increase the differences between the surviving lineages.

Indicator 5: The student understands that the primary mechanism of evolutionary change (acting on variation) is natural selection.

Additional Specificity:

(a) Favorable heritable traits are more advantageous to reproduction and/or survival than others.

(b) There is a finite supply of resources available for offspring; therefore, not all survive.

(c) Individuals with beneficial traits generally survive to reproduce in greater numbers.

(d) Favorable heritable traits tend to increase in the population through time if the selective pressure is maintained.

Indicator 6: The student understands biological evolution is used as a broad, unifying theoretical framework for biology.

Additional Specificity:

(a) Organisms are classified according to the rules of nomenclature, and are given scientific names.

(b) The behavioral, physical, and genetic characteristics upon which these classifications are based are used as evidence for common descent.

(c) Natural selection, genetic drift, genomes, and the mechanisms of genetic change provide a context in which to ask research questions and help explain observed changes in populations. However, reverse engineering and end-directed thinking are used to understand the function of bio-systems and information.

Indicator 7: The student explains proposed scientific explanations of the origin of life as well as scientific criticisms of those explanations.

Additional Specificity:

Some of the scientific criticisms include:

(a) A lack of empirical evidence for a “primordial soup” or a chemically hospitable pre-biotic atmosphere;

(b) The lack of adequate natural explanations for the genetic code, the sequences of genetic information necessary to specify life, the biochemical machinery needed to translate genetic information into functional biosystems, and the formation of proto-cells; and

(c) The sudden rather than gradual emergence of organisms near the time that the Earth first became habitable.

This benchmark appears to cover all the topics of biological evolution. As you can see, there is more than enough to chew on and no references to religion, God or Intelligent Design. Indicator 7 identifies important gaps in evolution origin theory. Is there consensus on this in the scientific community? Remember this standard when you read the mostly negative press releases that have been published from the time the board began reviewing the science standards. I will attempt to obtain Definitions for all the not-so-common words used in this standard.

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Standard 4: Earth and Space Science, Grades 8-12, Page 90

Benchmark 2: The student will develop an understanding of the origin and development of the dynamic Earth system.

 

Indicator 7: The student understands geological time is used to understand the Earth’s past.

Additional Specificity:

(a) Radioactive dating and relative dating (i.e., stratigraphy, fossils) are used to estimate the time rocks were formed.

b) Earth changes can be short term (during a human’s lifetime), such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, or long term (over a geological time scale), such as mountain building and plate movements.

(c) The Earth’s atmosphere has changed over time. For example, the dramatic changes in Earth’s atmosphere (i.e., introduction of O2) which was affected by the emergence of life on Earth.

(d) Relates geologic evidence to a record of Earth’s history.

(e) Matching coastlines, similarities in rock types, similarities in fossils and life forms suggest that today’s continents are separated parts of what was long ago a single continent.

This standard has no controversy in my opinion, but I include it to verify that fact. Creationists have issue with the commonly accepted dates of the earth and the major periods of our planet's history. I hope to take a look at that in the near future.

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Standard 4: Earth and Space Science, Grades 8-12, Page 92

Benchmark 4: The student will develop an understanding of the organization of the universe and its development.

 

Indicator 1: The student understands stellar evolution.

Additional Specificity:

(a) Condensation of gases, due to gravity, is a foundation for the formation of stars.

(b) The life cycle of the star begins with the nebula, which contains mostly hydrogen and helium. Heavier elements were, and continue to be, made by the nuclear fusion reactions in stars.

(c) The Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram is used to classify stars. The Sun is a main sequence star.

(d) Stars are classified by their color, temperature, age, apparent brightness and distance from Earth.

Indicator 1: The student understands the current scientific explanation of the origin and structure of the universe.

Additional Specificity:

(a) The formation of the universe began with an expansion of gases from a hot, dense state. By studying the light emitted from distant galaxies, it has been found that galaxies are moving apart from one another.

(b) The red shift of light, within the Doppler effect, emitted by distance galaxies supports the conclusion that the universe is expanding.

(c) Galaxies are a level of organization of the universe. There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Galaxies are organized into superclusters with large voids between them.

(d) The Sun is a second-generation star, which, along with our galaxy (the Milky Way which includes about 100 billion stars) formed billions of years after the Big Bang.

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Standard 5: Science and Technology, Grades 8-12, Page 94

Benchmark 1: The student will develop an understanding that technology is applied science.

Indicator 2: The student understands creativity, imagination, and a broad scientific knowledge base are required to produce useful results.

Additional Specificity: None here.

Indicator 3: The student understands science advances new technologies. New technologies open new areas for scientific inquiry.

Additional Specificity:

(a) Technological knowledge may be kept confidential because of the commercial or military potential of the idea or invention.

(b) Invention which produces a new device, method or process is developed from study and experimentation often utilizing technology.

I included this standard/benchmark as a reminder that our investigation into origins is not static, there is something new always around the bend. It is good that the student is made aware of this.

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Opinion

Well, I've had a day to digest what I have read, copied onto this website concerning the Science Standards. And I find myself angry.

 

Why, well down here in the southeast, I take the Independence Reporter and the Reporter of course includes news from all around the state. With regards to the conservative board and the science standards, they are generally painted as the dark lords - injecting intelligent design and creationism wherever they can - determined to make Kansas "the laughingstock of the nation".

 

But our local newspaper is no different than the media throughout the country both printed and electronic. Run a search on "Kansas evolution" and see the articles you come up with. Read who are the bad guys and what they are doing to education.

 

Yet, if you have read the standards and benchmarks I have presented, if you have read the document in its entirety, where is this evil injection? I don't see it. It looks to me that the conservative board was very conservative in the changes they made. We're still teaching evolution. The only area I see where change may have taken place is that the teacher and the student are requested to include the criticisms of evolution. Not all of them (there are many!) but enough to ensure that the students are fully aware that this is theory, not fact.

 

I wish the KSBE had the motivation to provide the side-by-side changes so we could look at the exact text change. They have shot themselves in the foot here, I fear. But as far as I can see, the final product is most acceptable.

 

I highly recommend, if you have not been there, check out the link Press Releases to view once again how the media has turned this controversy into a biased circus.

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6/25/06

Sorrells

 

 

Check on scientific law vs theory

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