Common Core + Climate Change Science = Progressive Beer Bong

Solve the equation for X.

Many conservative educational activists are up in arms about the new Common Core State Standards.  Today we read a new articulation of this conservative hostility from Iowa State Representative Ralph Watts.

Watts called the Next Generation Science Standards—the science branch of the Common Core—a “beer bong for American education.”  For those whose college education did not include the arts and sciences of beer bongs, the Honorable Representative Watts meant to imply that these standards will deliver ideas quickly enough to overwhelm students’ ability to digest them.  In his words, the new standards constitute “a vehicle for progressive activists to spread their philosophies and propaganda to our children through a conduit designed very effectively to serve their needs.”

Next Generation Science Standards, Watts warns, insist that human-caused climate change is a fact.  This is another episode of federal overreach, Watts insists.  “Centralization. . . .” Watts concludes, will be a “colossal mistake and a classic failure.”

In the field of science education, Watts has a point.  Local control often protects the teaching of creationism and intelligent design, for example.  The same could be true for climate-change skepticism.  Putting mainstream scientists in charge of more rigorous science standards can’t hurt.  But I worry that it also won’t help too much.

In spite of Representative Watts’ poignant words, there are no true beer bongs in American education.  There is no way for any central body to deliver ideology so overwhelmingly to students nationwide as to overwhelm their home culture’s beliefs.

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