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Hello.  Anyone?  I need help and some trust from this community.

This is for ALL of our kids!  Please, listen.

I don't know HOW to get this out to anyone who will care or make a difference, but I got an early copy of the Middle School, grade level breakdown of the new National Science Standards and they are wrong -- grade level-wise.

Wrong how?  The standards are great!  They just made a small but HUGELY critical mistake, and it's giong to screw up years of our kids.

The mistake:  They put all the chemistry and physics standards at the 7th grade level ... with the "testing boundary" that the kids won't have to do any math when they get tested for the principles.  WTF?  They had to pull OUT testing them with "math" since the math Common Core doesn't match the grade level. The MATH is at the 8th grade level!

Soooo, the kids are only going to get chemistry and physics at the principle level ... BUT, 7th graders's BRAINS --- that year, that critical year -- are just going through moving from concrete to abstract reasoning!

AND, 8th grade, now has NO.  I repeat NO physics or chemistry!  Just when they will be getting the math and their BRAINS are ready for it --- nada.  

There is an EASY FIX!   If you have a kid or care about our country's science abilities come over the squiggle.

The easy solution:  The 7th grade standards need to move to 8th grade and the 8th grade standards can move to the 7th grade.

I don't know what to do!  

I could give you all my resume. Yeah, I know, why should I be taken seriously about this?  Lots of smart people put this all together.  

Well, this just may be the one situation in a national decision that I think I just may know better and actually have a better cross-life resume to say I may be THE best expert in the country to actually KNOW we are about to do something horribly WRONG as a nation.

This is a HUGE disaster for your kids, and middle school teachers have not even gotten the middle school roll-out formally -- YET they are going to be expected to roll-out these standards without a "cross-walk" of the stnadards over time- THIS YEAR.

I'm crying, guys.  I'm looking at a simple shift, fix.

But, it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen,

And, it will be a disaster. Just because they are going to force down content to a level where HUMAN kids's brains are simply not ready for learning abstract thinking by ONE year.

By ONE year!

The new, wonderful standards won't work, because there will be a BIG mess up n their middle school years.

No on will listen to this or me.  I'm a really good Instructional Designer with 20 years in Industry, a VP at GE at one point, and 8 years as a middle school teacher in science at all 6th, 7th, nd 8th grade ...

A generation of kids of will not "get" what the hell the teachers are trying to teach them and the teachers are going to be thoroughly frustrated and the whole point of the wonderful national standardswill fail.

A simple fix is availabe, but that means teaching our middle school skids bsed on who they are -- THAT is how important they are and how awful ignoring them is.

Is anyone listening?  Does anyone know HOW I might stop this from happening?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

    by bkamr on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:14:07 PM PDT

  •  You get a rec & tip (8+ / 0-)

    b/c I believe you know what you're talking about, but as for a fix...wouldn't that have to be school board by school board? Or at least state by state?

    I'm quite certain Texas won't make the change: that state's education policy is mostly anti-science.

    California might (repeat: might) be more amenable.

    The rest of them? Well count PA out until we get rid of the horrible Corbett. Probably the same for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Illinois.

    I bet NYS would listen to you, though. And all of New England.

    No, I don't mean this as snark. I just think your intentions are excellent but your chances of changing policy are pretty much nil. It will probably have to be changed one school district at a time.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:22:28 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for beliveing me. The science standards (8+ / 0-)

      have been adopted by 48 states, and as a set, they are are qute good.  It's just this sequence issue in relation to the audiences' developemntal reality that makes this a looming dsaster.

      The big problem is the ORDER of them at one critical junction based on when we as humans generally make the developmental switch from being concrete to abstract thinkers.

      It's one of the things that make Middle School teacning so wonderful.

      It's why this is such a big deal..

      We've hav ethe majority of the kids making that shipft and been teching the more advancey chemistry and physics in 8th grade.

       In 7th? They are predominantly ooncrete tinkers without the math skills to do multi-level, algebraic problems.  In 8th?  They can do it!  

      Rhey could do the mainly biological standards we h

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:27:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good grief (6+ / 0-)

        I was in the above average College Course in High School in upscale Maine coastal town and we didn't study chemistry until 11th grade, physics 12th

        And many went to top notch even Ivy League schools

        7th grade?

        Kids are noodle heads with some exceptions.  7th grade is such an emotionally difficult and awkward time for them

        I would start locally, town, then county, then state
        Keep good records of your off-broadway efforts, if you succeed, alert the press, associations, teachers unions etc

        Or do something dramatic to gain attn.

        I feel you concern.  Hope you have success.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:57:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sending this to the Badass Teachers Association. (9+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:57:39 PM PDT

  •  Sounds messed up (8+ / 0-)

    I am a High School teacher with 22 years experience, National Board Certified, 2 masters degrees.  This design sounds like a ploy to sell new curricular material.  It also sounds wrong.  Not much we can do about it.  If is a national standards that will be how the ACT and other testing services will design their assessment products.  I assume that if chemistry and physics is at 7th grade they put life science at 8th grade?  

    Wisconsin, Forward!

    by astroguy on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:04:42 PM PDT

    •  8th grade is like a science seminar course with (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, belinda ridgewood, Sylv

      all of the "controversial" topics in it:
      - Gelogical Time
      - Evolution
      - Climate
      - Human Impact on the Environment

      All of these could be done in 7th grade, in conjunction with the life science standards that are currently in the 7th grade curriculum.  

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:39:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd have to pass. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Youffraita, bkamr

    Everywhere there are school boards, and administrators. These people are totally imperfect but they do spend their lives studying these things and are the human beings that have been put in charge of making these decisions. You should be talking to them, IMO. Not going directly to the internet to get people to support you who really don't understand all the issues here. If the facts are on your side, and your argument compelling, why not go to the people actually empowered to fix this?

    •  Local school boards and even the state level (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      belinda ridgewood, elfling, Sylv

      leadership don't have any control of this.  It's the national curriculum.  The national crew invited teacher and others' input on the standards themselves, and they standards are good.  

      Overall, the Middle School curriculum is good.  

      The problem came in when they used a closed process to then further divide the middle school curriculum into the 3 grade levels.  As part of the agreement to wiave some of the NCLB/ Race to the Top repercussions, state's had to agree to adopt the national standards.

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:00:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Check out this link (11+ / 0-)

    http://www.edsource.org/...

    The whole article is worth reading, but I've hotlinked to a particular comment by a teacher who points out:

    In looking at the NGSS, the glaring question which I have not seen addressed is this: How are teachers with Single Subject credentials going to be adequately prepared to teach these integrated standards at the middle school level? I have a CA Single Subject Physical Science credential and have been teaching 8th grade physical science for 25 years. I have no expertise in teaching gene mutation, natural selection or geologic time scale and yet those are standards I will be expected to teach in 8th grade science. In looking at the 7th grade standards, teachers with biology/life science credentials will be expected to teach molecular models, states of matter, chemical reactions, law of conservation of mass and plate tectonics. So teachers with Single Subject credentials are supposed to be able to teach content outside their discipline (for half or two-thirds of the school year) at a high enough level so that students can analyze, evaluate, experiment and construct models? This makes no sense to me. What would make sense is to streamline our current content standards and incorporate some of the NGSS performance standards into each discipline/grade level. Students can only analyze, evaluate, experiment and construct what they have learned and they need expert instructors to prepare them for this kind of thinking and performing. The NGSS as written is setting us ALL up to fail.
    There are definitely people out there who are concerned. The challenge is building the critical mass of people who are concerned about the same issues as you.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:32:13 PM PDT

    •  Sad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, bkamr, belinda ridgewood

      $Waltons Gates and Kochs spending $billions for Charger Schools

      Failure might be the goal

      don't they ever consider baby steps with these sweeping changes

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:42:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo! The standards themselves are good, and the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error, belinda ridgewood

        process for creating them included a public input step.  The problem is that people/ states approved the 6-8 curriculum, as a whole, but division of the standards for the middle school grade levels did not include input.

        The $ influence behind this and Sec. Arne Duncan are pushing them through coercion are not helpful.

        Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

        by bkamr on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:26:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not only are you expected to teach outside your (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bkamr, ScienceMom, belinda ridgewood

      discipline, you're expected above all to be able to coach a sport.

      The schools are too cheap to require real expertise. They want shallow generalists. Why have separate instructors for biology and chemistry, thoroughly trained in each, when you can hire one person who can "fake it a little" in multiple fields-- and coach basketball on the side.

    •  Thank you for the link. I am looking for ideas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      belinda ridgewood

      and to join with others who a voicing concern.

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:44:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is important but don't assume that all 7th (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, ScienceMom, belinda ridgewood

    graders operate on a 7th grade level developmentally or 8th graders on an 8th grade levels.

    The National Standards are but one of the many problems our public school systems face.

    Sound like you would be a good candidate for the local school board.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

    by ZenTrainer on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:21:50 PM PDT

  •  Has this country gone rug-chewing insane? (3+ / 0-)

    Texas politicians constantly bleat about the need to direct more students towards the STEM disciplines-- and then they go and eliminate Algebra II as a requirement for graduating high school. This makes no sense at all.

    You can't do physics or chemistry without having a good grounding in math. I get the impression that our legislators have this incredibly primitive notion that physics and chemistry is all lab play-- making baking soda and vinegar volcanoes, rubbing balloons together to produce static electricity. They don't seem to realize doing physics and chemistry also requires calculating ability.

    All this talk about strengthening science education is going to remain empty talk. You can't achieve it simply by wishing it scientific literacy down from the heavens in the manner of a cargo cult. Science is hard (but supremely rewarding)-- it requires a good command of mathematics.

    •  IMHO, stuffing unwilling kids thru (0+ / 0-)

      Algebra II is not terribly likely to make those kids into STEM workers.

      What I perhaps would do instead is require four years of math, and allow some of the math to be CTE based, where the kids are using it to build things and apply it to real world problems.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:03:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  my friend who went to an teeny tiny religious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, belinda ridgewood

    school was forced to take geometry before algebra at that age because of silly things like this kind of misunderstanding. She worked herself to the bone, not understanding why she couldn't understand it (she's one of the smartest yet most undereducated people I know) and no one else knew what her problem really was.

    Core Curiculum was supposed to standardize a good education, not screw up a generation. How come nobody else seemed to notice this mix-up in scheduling? (Glad you did.)

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 03:17:42 AM PDT

  •  Do they EVER bother (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    belinda ridgewood, Sylv

    to talk to real life teachers in the trenches?
    It doesn't seem like it.

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