A Studied Response to the Survey of the October Draft of the Utah "SEEd" Science Standards:

The survey realy pushes one into a default accaptance


Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Grade 6-8 Draft 30-day Public Review

1. Geographic Information for Reviewer
City/Town of Residence
State

2. Background Information: (indicate the primary role in which you are reviewing these Standards, you may only select one choice.)

___ Current Science Teacher in Grades 6-8
___ Current Teacher in Grades K-5
___ Current Science Teacher in Grades 9-12
___ Current Teacher in subject area other than science
___ Retired Science Teacher
___ Retired Teacher in subject area other than science
___ Preservice Teacher
_X_ Parent
___ School Administrator
___ District Administrator
___ University Faculty
___ Informal Science Education Team Member
___ Vendor
___ General Member of the Public
___ Other (please specify)

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Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Grade 6-8 Draft 30-day Public Review

Selection of Grade Level for Comments

Please select the grade level that you would like to review. You will have an opportunity to give feedback on multiple grade levels during this survey if you so desire.

3. Please let us know which core standards you are commenting upon. If your grade level is not listed, there is not a draft created yet for review.

_X_ 6th Grade UT SEEd Draft
___ 7th Grade UT SEEd Draft
___ 8th Grade UT SEEd Draft

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Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Grade 6-8 Draft 30-day Public Review

6th Grade UT SEEd Draft

Please respond to each question, and include comments to support your response.

Narrative responses are limited to 1000 characters including spaces. You will not be notified of your character count until you submit the page.

4. This statement is based on the 6th Grade Introduction Page.
___ I have read the 6th Grade Introduction Page and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read the 6th Grade Introduction Page and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read the 6th Grade Introduction Page and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

Still, the concept of Falsification is missing.

This concept is still not found in the standards proposed. If there is no way in which a theory could be shown to be false then the theory is merely a mantra, a belief system, a dogma, a philosophy, in which data can only support but never detract to show the theory to be false. Theories that lack a mechanism for foundational falsifiability are not scientific theories; they are simply philosophy. If we expect our students to actually engage in science, they must understand these foundational pieces of science: falsification and the tentativeness of scientific theories.

It is important to note that scientific theories are tentative, and that data could possibly be revealed that falsifies a theory. This is not an anti-science position, but rather it is the heart and soul of science.

The Disciplinary Core Ideas, as they are written in this draft, are about as nondescript as one can get. They really convey no practical information.

5. This statement is based on Strand 1 of the 6th Grade SEEd Standards.
_X_ I have read Strand 1 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 1 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
___ I have read Strand 1 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

6. This statement is based on Strand 2 of the 6th Grade SEEd Standards.
_X_ I have read Strand 2 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 2 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
___ I have read Strand 2 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

7. This statement is based on Strand 3 of the 6th Grade SEEd Standards.
___ I have read Strand 3 and I approve of it as written.
_X_ I have read Strand 3 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
___ I have read Strand 3 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

Strand 6.3: Earth's Weather Patterns and Climate
Standard 6.3.4 is the only newly formulated performance standard that is found in this draft of the 6, 7, & 8th grade collection of standards.

"Construct an explanation supported by evidence for how the natural greenhouse effect maintains Earth"s energy balance and a relatively constant temperature. Emphasize how the natural greenhouse effect is necessary for maintaining life on Earth. Examples could include comparisons between Earth and the moon or other planets."

I think that this standard does convey important and useful information. I like it. I would offer a sincere caution regarding this standard: In implementation, this standard may be simply an opportunity to rehearse the mantra of the imagined horrors of the impending global warming doom. For some science that discusses the evidence that speaks contrary to the Global Warming hype see http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/start.html

8. This statement is based on Strand 4 of the 6th Grade SEEd Standards.
___ I have read Strand 4 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 4 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read Strand 4 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

This goes into great depths on topics that are environmentally related. Based on the proportion of standards in this draft of the science standards that are environmentally related, it is clear that the intent is that the lion's share of the points discussed and time spent in our 6th grade science classes will be consumed on environmental issues. This is a fundamental change in focus from what is currently being taught.

Keep science class a science class and not a place to manipulate young minds on public policy.

* 9. Would you like to make comments on the 7th and/or 8th grade SEEd standard drafts?

_X_ Yes
___ No

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Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Grade 6-8 Draft 30-day Public Review

Selection of Grade Level for Comments

Please select the grade level that you would like to review. You will have an opportunity to give feedback on multiple grade levels during this survey if you so desire.

10. Please let us know which core standards you are commenting upon. If
your grade level is not listed, there is not a draft created yet for review.

___ 6th Grade UT SEEd Draft
_X_ 7th Grade UT SEEd Draft
___ 8th Grade UT SEEd Draft

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Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Grade 6-8 Draft 30-day Public Review

7th Grade UT SEEd Draft

Please respond to each question, and include comments to support your response.

Narrative responses are limited to 1000 characters including spaces. You will not be notified of your character count until you submit the page.

11. This statement is based on the 7th Grade Introduction Page.
___ I have read the 7th Grade Introduction Page and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read the 7th Grade Introduction Page and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read the 7th Grade Introduction Page and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

In addition to the changes mention in the 6th grade intro, of clearly stating the concept of falsification and the tentativeness of science, at the bottom of the 7th grade introduction is a paragraph that is specific to the 7th grade the sentence

"Evidence for the evolutionary histories of life on Earth is provided in [the] Earth itself through the fossil record and organism development."
This sentence should be removed and replaced with:
"Evidence for and against the evolutionary histories of life..."

12. This statement is based on Strand 1 of the 7th Grade SEEd Standards.
_X_ I have read Strand 1 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 1 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
___ I have read Strand 1 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

13. This statement is based on Strand 2 of the 7th Grade SEEd Standards.
___ I have read Strand 2 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 2 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read Strand 2 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

BUILT BY CORRELATION, L. Don Leet (Harvard) & Sheldon Judson (Princeton), "Because we cannot find sedimentary rocks representing all of earth time neatly in one convenient area, we must piece together the rock sequence from locality to locality. This process of tying one rock sequence in one place to another in some other place is known as correlation, from the Latin for 'together' plus 'relate.'" Physical Geology p.181.

Putman & Bassett, "A rock that had an early form of an organism was clearly older than rocks containing later forms. Furthermore, all rocks that had the early form, no matter how far apart those rocks were geographically, would have to be the same age fossil successions made it possible to say that the Cambrian rocks are older than the Ordovician rocks. In this way our geologic time table came into being....Without the theory of evolution and the interdisciplinary science of paleontology, it could not exist." Geology p.544

Our Students should also know this.

14. This statement is based on Strand 3 of the 7th Grade SEEd Standards.
_X_ I have read Strand 3 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 3 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
___ I have read Strand 3 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

15. This statement is based on Strand 4 of the 7th Grade SEEd Standards.
___ I have read Strand 4 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 4 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read Strand 4 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

Minor variations of existing proteins may explain some of the diversity we see in life. It has been found that mutation / natural selection mechanism is an insufficient explanation for a significant portion of the proteins. 10 to 20 % of the genes in a species lack evidence of an ancestral origin. Some have claimed that these "orphan" genes arise "de novo" or out of nothing from regions of supposed "Junk DNA." The ENCODE project has shown that 80 % of the human genome has a "biochemical function," similar high levels of functionality are assumed to exist in other creatures also. Further, studies have shown that proteins cannot be thrown together in a random manner and produce even a viable protein, let alone one that has a beneficial function for the organism. Demonstrable. See http://wwww.sciencefreedom.org/Issues-With-Oct-SEEd-Draft.html

What I am saying is that we should teach the evidence for and also the evidence against the theory.

16. This statement is based on Strand 5 of the 7th Grade SEEd Standards.
___ I have read Strand 5 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 5 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read Strand 5 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

The fossil record record does not show the gradual branching tree. See Darwin's Doubt by Steven Meyer

Vertebrate fish were found in the Cambrian.

Standard 7.5.4 itself remains fundamentally the same.

7.5.4 Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns in the embryological development across multiple species to identify similarities and differences not evident in the fully formed anatomy.

This is essentially Haeckel's "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny," argument that has been discredited for many years. It does not belong in our curriculum. For just one example, Erich Blechschmidt commented in his 1977 book The Beginnings of Human Life.

"The so-called basic law of biogenetics [Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny] is wrong. No buts or ifs can mitigate this fact. It is not even a tiny bit correct or correct in a different form, making it valid in a certain percentage. It is totally wrong."

* 17. Would you like to make comments on the 6th and/or 8th grade SEEd standard drafts?

_X_ Yes
___ No

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Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Grade 6-8 Draft 30-day Public Review

Selection of Grade Level for Comments

Please select the grade level that you would like to review. You will have an opportunity to give feedback on multiple grade levels during this survey if you so desire.

18. Please let us know which core standards you are commenting upon. If your grade level is not listed, there is not a draft created yet for review.

___ 6th Grade UT SEEd Draft
___ 7th Grade UT SEEd Draft
_X_ 8th Grade UT SEEd Draft

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Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Grade 6-8 Draft 30-day Public Review

8th Grade UT SEEd Draft

Please respond to each question, and include comments to support your response.

Narrative responses are limited to 1000 characters including spaces. You will not be notified of your character count until you submit the page.

19. This statement is based on the 8th Grade Introduction Page.
___ I have read the 8th Grade Introduction Page and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read the 8th Grade Introduction Page and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read the 8th Grade Introduction Page and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

At the bottom of the 8th grade introduction is a paragraph that is specific to the 8th grade.

The sentences:

"Additionally, substances that provide a benefit to organisms, including humans, are unevenly distributed on Earth due to geologic and atmospheric systems. Some resources form quickly allowing them to be renewable while other resources are nonrenewable. Evidences reveal that Earth systems change and affect ecosystems and organisms in both positive and negative ways."

This should be replaced with:

Just as climates vary, so do other resources due to geologic and atmospheric systems. Some resources form quickly allowing them to be renewable while other resources are nonrenewable. Evidences reveal that Earth systems change and affect ecosystems and organisms, at times introducing an entirely different ecosystem and its set of often unique organisms.

20. This statement is based on Strand 1 of the 8th Grade SEEd Standards.
___ I have read Strand 1 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 1 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read Strand 1 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

It seems odd to have an 8th grade performance stand focused just on synthetic materials. This appears to be directed more as a social issue than science concept or even engineering issue. For example, in the NGSS wording which almost certainly is the way it will be implemented in the classroom:

"Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society."

Use of our students' science time should be for science not social engineering

21. This statement is based on Strand 2 of the 8th Grade SEEd Standards.
_X_ I have read Strand 2 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 2 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
___ I have read Strand 2 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

22. This statement is based on Strand 3 of the 8th Grade SEEd Standards.
_X_ I have read Strand 3 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 3 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
___ I have read Strand 3 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

23. This statement is based on Strand 4 of the 8th Grade SEEd Standards.
___ I have read Strand 4 and I approve of it as written.
___ I have read Strand 4 and I approve with the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
_X_ I have read Strand 4 and I do not approve and offer the following comments/suggestions for improvement.
Comments/Suggestions (please reference specific sentences where appropriate):

8.4.3
"Design a solution to monitor or mitigate the potential effects of the use of natural resources."

8.4.2
"Engage in argument supported by evidence about the effect of per-capita consumption of natural resources on Earth's systems."

This is more evidence of the demonstrated propensity for the writers of these standards to digress into social issues and not stick with science. These standards are not suitable for eighth grade.

8.4.4 This performance standard invites the NGSS implementation which is:

"Emphasis is on the major role that human activities play in causing the rise in global temperatures." MS-ESS3-5

* 24. Would you like to make comments on the 6th and/or 7th grade SEEd standard drafts?

___ Yes
_X_ No

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Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) Standards Grade 6-8 Draft 30-day Public Review

Thank you for completing the online Public Review for the Grade 6-8 SEEd Standards. The USOE is currently engaged in the process of science 6-8 core standards revision.

Once the 30-Day Public Review has concluded, the teacher writing teams for science grades 6-8 will reconvene to respond to comments and revise the draft accordingly.

Thank you for taking time to provide your feedback and supporting the process of developing and improvement of the science standards that prepare Utah students to be college and career ready.

We do not expect to start working on grades K-5 or 9-12 until the standards for 6-8 are approved by the Utah State Board of Education. The earliest that we would start soliciting for writing team members is projected for Winter of 2016.

Thank you again,

Ricky Scott
Utah State Office of Education
K-12 Science Specialist

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