By Keilani Ludlow
MSD recently adopted A Framework for K-12 Science Education (AFSE) as the district textbook for teaching Biology.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education was developed as part of a two step process to develop national science standards. This process was begun speciﬁcally to take advantage of the common core movement and to put these national science standards in place at a time when states were amenable to adopting them.
The Carnegie Corp. of New York (in a quiet alliance with Achieve, Inc.) started a two step process to develop national science standards. The Carnegie Corp. approached the National Research Council (NRC) to develop a framework (curriculum) for science standards which would be followed up in the second step by the development of a next generation of science standards (NGSS) to be developed by Achieve, Inc. based on the framework provided by the NRC.
If you go to the following link to the textbooks AFSE and NGSS, you will see that they are the same thing. One is simply produced by writers at the NRC, and the other
lists the author as NGSS Lead States and clearly states it is taken from the NRCʼs book A Framework for K-12 Science Education and then goes on to explain how
the NRC and Achieve, Inc. and other science associations partnered to create these standards through a “collaborative state-led process”. Additionally, the
related resources offers a statement from the NRC that the NGSS is consistent with the content and structure of AFSE etc.
The whole point here being that from the beginning, this book that the MSD has adopted was and is simply another Common Core Standards tool of Achieve, Inc.
It just goes by another name. If from the beginning the plan was to create these common core science standards, I donʼt know why they decided on a two step
process unless it was speciﬁcally to give the illusion that Achieve, Inc. took their science info. from an unrelated third party, and to give the illusion that
the states were involved in the actual development of the standards.
Finally, despite the statement from Tom Luna that our state would not be adopting the much maligned science standards, NGSS, he sent state employees from
the SDOE to be on the trade organization that “developed” the standards as partof a “state-led” process. Two state employees are listed as being members of the
Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS). The CSSS is partnered with Achieve, Inc. both in developing the NGSS and also in developing new assessments for science
proﬁciency, all based on Framework For K-12 Science. Our state is quietly adopting common core science and common core science testing under our noses and no one
Emails and calls to the teacher, the district, and Idahoʼs state dept. of ed. gave a confusing determination of who is driving the change to this common core
biology. The teacher (as retold by the students in class) stated that the change was due to common core, and then later in an email stated it was due to
the stateʼs new EOC (End of Course) for science being developed to replace the ISAT.
The district ofﬁcial stated that because the district EOC had been compromised by students taking pictures of it on their cell phones, the district was forced to
write a new EOC. He didnʼt explain why that lead to the district adopting this new text earlier this year, the same month that the State Dept of Ed. (SDOE)
updated their state EOC biology requirements.
The lady at the SDOE gave me a lot of non-answers about how the state doesnʼt determine curriculum etc., and said that the state had not changed science standards in
several years, but then later said that they had recently “added deﬁnition” to some of thestandards. When looking up the state EOC standards for science, it shows revisions in March of this year, the same time the Meridian School Dist. adopted the AFSE textbook for Biology. It wasnʼt until a while after our conversation was over that I realized she never had answered my question about who was developing the state science test and who would administer it. However, according to the CSSS website above, it wonʼt
be a test for Idaho by Idaho, it will be a test for common core by Achieve Inc.
In my process of searching, one thing that was disturbing to me was that on the page of the SDOE website for content standards, EVERY subject is supposed to
be aligned to CCSS ELA/Literacy standards (or math of course to the math standards). This means Humanities, Health, PE, Social Studies, etc. are all aligned to the ELA
standards. The argument may be that they are just aligned to the reading and writing requirements, but why? These subjects are not English or Language Arts or Literacy.
They should not all be tied-in to common core. Slowly and quietly our SDOE is moving our state education toward total nationalized education control.