Action Needed: New Science and Social Studies being proposed

There are two very important updates for immediate action.

  1.  Michigan is considering adopting new science and social studies standards.
    The Michigan Department of Education wants national common science (NGSS) and social studies standards (C3)  to accompany the already adopted common core standards in math and English.They have tried this before and we have pushed them back.  They are trying once again   The MDE has scheduled meetings on these new standards around the state.  THESE MEETINGS START THIS WEEK!! We MUST oppose the standards NOW before they are adopted.  Most missed the opportunity to voice their opposition on Common Core in 2010 because they were not aware of what the MDE and State Board of Ed. were planning..  Let’s not let that happen again.  Show up and make your voice heard at one of the meetings.  If you need more information on the standards see links below this summary.Please click on the schedule and ATTEND the nearest session to you:  Proposed Standards Information Session
  1. Repeal and Replace Common Core in Michigan
    Michigan adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010.  We now know that the standards are inferior and NOT in the best interest of Michigan students.   It’s time for them to be repealed.  A grassroots coalition is working on a Repeal & Replace Common Core standards in Michigan.  It calls for the adoption of Massachusetts pre-CC standards, which are the evidence based standards that support real student achievement.  The bill allows for a process to change the standards in the future, but it starts with what are undeniably the very best.  The scope of the bill includes math, ELA, science and social studies.   It is likely we will run up against the argument that this bill causes another change and schools are having a hard enough time with the current changes.  Our argument is that once it is proven that you are on the wrong track, you should waste no time in getting on the right track.To retain our educational freedom we MUST stop the adoption of the Science/Social Studies and repeal the Common Core.  Both require YOU to be involved.Action Needed:

    **Attend the information session to stop the new science and social studies standards 

    ** Share this ACTION ALERT with your family and friends.

    ** Like the Stop Common Core in Michigan Facebook page for immediate updates on the pending science and social studies standards and the Repeal and Replace Bill

Below are some links to helpful information on the proposed science and social studies standards.  Don’t think you need to be an expert.  Pick one or two hot button criticisms that you are passionate about and make sure the MDE and lawmakers hear from you at the information session in your area.


→Heartland Institute: Research and Commentary Common Core Science Standards

Heartland Institute produced an easy to read assessment of the standards.  This is an excellent place to start to get a general idea of the standards.  There are additional links included in their research.  Here is an excerpt,​

​”Individual liberty advocates counter that centralization in education is as foolish and damaging as centralizing the economy. They note the ideological tendencies of science education toward politics as a substitute for actual science, particularly in the area of highly debatable global warming alarmism, which is falsely assumed as reality in these standards. The standards also promote a simplified understanding of science and are still incoherent despite revisions, according to several sets of reviewers. They ignore central scientific concepts and push a progressive teaching style that has been proven to erode student learning, especially for disadvantaged students.”

→ Fordham Institute Commentary & Feedback of Next Generation Science Standards

If you are a scientist or an engineer, you might find the 70-page analysis engaging.  However, scanning the executive summary is also helpful.​

→ An MDE contracted analysis comparing NGSS to current Michigan Science Standards

​ Guess what!  The report recommends Michigan should adopt NGSS!  That is not a surprise.  I imagine MDSS may refer to this study in their presentations so it is good to become familiar with their thoughts before attending a session.   ​

However, ​Fordham has another study that challenges the MDE findings, did an independent review of every state’s science standards!  They found three to be exemplary, one being Massachusetts.

→ Fordham State Science Standard Comparison to NGSS

Fordham then compared all the other states to the three best states and NGSS.  They found that Michigan and NGSS are both equally weak at a grade of C while MA is a grade of A-.  So why in the world would we waste our energy changing all our schools to teach NGSS?  If the goal were to improve science education, we would teach MA science standards?  This is further confirmation that our recommendation for Repeal & Replace of Common Core is solid.

→ Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education opinion

Interestingly, the Massachusetts Business Alliance advocates for a careful consideration of changing away from MA standards to NGSS because they know bad science standards will not prepare kids well for advanced science opportunities.  Generally, the business community has jumped on the talking points of education reformers, but  not in this case.

→ National Center For Education Statistics: Fast Facts Comparison

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) results for 2012 PISA – Confirmation that using MA standards as a framework makes us competitive internationally.

” ​In science literacy, average scores ranged from 373 in Peru to 580 in Shanghai-CHN. The U.S. average science score (497) was not measurably different from the OECD average (501)….In addition to scoring above the U.S. national average, Massachusetts (527) and Connecticut (521) also scored above the OECD average. Florida (485) had an average score not measurably different from the U.S. average and lower than the OECD average.”

→ Trends in Massachusetts science and math achievement

​ Page vii (8) shows the science and math scores of the US average, compared to Singapore (highest) and MA from 1999 to 2011.  Clearly, Massachusetts has been doing something right!


Opinion on the social studies standards by Chester Finn Sr. Fellow and President Emeritus of Fodham

​ Finn proclaims that the new social studies framework is void of content.  He states,

“Nowhere in its 108 pages will you find Abraham Lincoln, the Declaration of Independence, Martin Luther King (or Martin Luther), a map of the United States, or the concept of supply and demand. You won’t find anything that you might think children should actually learn about history, geography, civics or economics.”

There are other Fordham articles very critical of this new social studies framework.

Here is Fordham’s review of every state’s social studies standards where Michigan earns a B and MA earns an A-

And one last point.  Dr Zeile, a member of the Michigan State Board of Education tells in this video how some groups have been given special access to change these standards, while others are excluded.

You might ask MDE if these information sessions might cause them to actually reconsider the changes they are proposing!

Like the Common Core math and english standards, the MDE would like to push the new science and social studies upon Michigan students.

Your voice must be heard in order will keep the new science and social studies standards from being adopted and repeal & replace the common core.