News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In surprise 6-2 decision, West Virginia public schools vote to allow children in taxpayer funded schools to study and debate CO2 issues. Children will not be forced to remain silent on the notion of excess human CO2 caused global warming or climate change as advocated by corporate group Achieve, Inc.-Charleston, W. Virginia Daily Mail

Terms used in this article about global warming language used in taxpayer funded West Virginia schools: "altered standards," "unaltered standards," "standards with modifications," "newly amended standards," "original amendments," "amended language," "changes," "new amendment," "other amended standards," "against pulling the changes," "amended language differs." Paragraph 5 says Achieve, Inc. (a Common Core affiliated group) authored "the unaltered standard:" "The unaltered standard, as it was written by Achieve Inc., required students to ask questions only about the rise in global temperatures."

4/9/15, "W.Va. board passes science standards allowing climate change debate," Charleston Daily Mail, By Samuel Speciale, Education reporter 
"Two months after withdrawing its controversial science education standards with modifications that would have asked students to question the scientific community’s assertion that global warming is caused by human greenhouse emissions, the West Virginia Board of Education voted Thursday to amend the standards once again to allow classroom debate on climate change."...
[Ed. note: It's not accurate to say "the scientific community" uses that definition of global warming: Per 4/6/15 Nature Climate Change peer reviewed study, "Geographic variation in opinions on climate change at state and local scales in the USA," "global warming" is defined only as the idea that global temperatures have risen. No suggestion of causation is mentioned in the definition:

"1. "Question: Recently, you may have noticed that global warming has been getting some attention in the news. Global warming refers to the idea that the world‘s average temperature has been increasing over the past 150 years, may be increasing more in the future, and that the world‘s climate may change as a result. Do you think that global warming is happening?"
4/6/15, "Geographic variation in opinions on climate change at state and local scales in the USA," Supplementary Information, Nature Climate Change]
(continuing): "Despite months of national scrutiny from media outlets, teachers and educational organizations that support scientific research proving human activity causes climate change, the board voted 6-2 to approve the newly amended standards, which will now go into effect on July 1, 2016.

While the amended language differs from what the board redacted in January, after unanimously approving the changes in December, the amended standards contain the same directives, which allow students to use scientific models to form their own conclusions on the debated topic.

Opponents of the changes, pointing out peer-reviewed research on climate change, have said that scientific facts should not be debated. Many also accused the board of catering to special interests like West Virginia’s coal industry. However, supporters of the changes, including board members Wade Linger and Tom Campbell, argued that “science is never settled” and that debate will lead students into a deeper understanding of the issue.

The original amendments, proposed by Linger and inserted by Department of Education staff, would have had sixth-graders “ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise and fall in global temperatures over the past century.” The unaltered standard, as it was written by Achieve Inc., required students to ask questions only about the rise in global temperatures.

The new amendment removes both “rise and fall” and replaces it with “changes.”

Other amended standards that would have had students discuss natural forces like Milankovitch cycles and how they affect climate change were scaled back to remove language about the cycles, which are long-term changes in the Earth’s orbit often cited by those who don’t believe global warming is caused by human activity.

The board’s surprise 6-2 decision, which came after January’s 6-2 vote to pull its changes, was made possible by a few shakeups amongst its members.
When the board voted in January to redact the altered standards and place them back on public comment in their original state, the board’s composition was much different. Former member Robert Dunlevy, who opposed the changes, was serving past his expired term, and [Democrat] Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin had yet to appoint his replacement, Jim Wilson [who "was absent Thursday and did not vote"], and Beverley Kingery, who filled a seat that had been vacant for two years. Those two joined the board later that month on Jan. 22.

Upon the appointment, it was believed among board members there would be enough votes to approve the unaltered standards [of Achieve, Inc.] even if Wilson and Kingery sided with Linger and Campbell ["science is never settled"]. Those two were the only members to vote against pulling the changes
While Wilson was absent Thursday and did not vote, Kingery sided with Linger and Campbell, and those three were joined by Tina Combs, Mike Green and Lloyd Jackson, bringing the vote to a commanding 6-2. Board President Gayle Manchin and Bill White voted against the amended standards.

The board was supposed to vote on the standards during its meeting on Wednesday, but the agenda item was moved to Thursday. The board also delayed action on the standards in March when department officials said they were processing an unusually large number of responses from the public commenting period.

The department received thousands of comments that supported the standards’ original language, and while many were in favor of the changes, they were much fewer in number.

In total the department presented board members with more than 800 pages of comments from local residents, teachers and other community members as well as petitions from West Virginia University, the state Science Teachers Association and other organizations. Many of the comments came from individuals and organizations outside West Virginia."

"Contact writer Samuel Speciale at or 304-348-4886. Follow him at"


Unelected, unaccountable national groups like Achieve, Inc. render parents, towns, and states so last generation:

"Next Generation Science managed by Achieve."

Achieve partnered in writing Common Core standards.

Achieve advocates for Common Core Standards around the country and implements "strategies for the Common Core State Standards."

Achieve was a partner in developing NextGen Science Standards.

From Achieve, Inc. website: "We also develop tools that help states change policies and practices, such as rubrics and audits."...


From Achieve, Inc. website

"What we do:

"Convene States and Leaders"

Central to Achieve’s work is our ability to convene leaders from across states to come together to share their experiences and tackle common challenges. Importantly, through our networks Achieve convenes not just a cross-section of leaders across states, but also a cross-section of leaders within states, including state K-12 and higher education leadership; policymakers from governors’ offices, legislatures and state boards of education; district leaders; and third-party advocates from business- and community-based organizations. Our expertise in convening state leaders is best evidenced through our work managing the American Diploma Project Network, the PARCC consortium, [Pearson] and the Next Generation Science Standards development effort.

Provide Technical Assistance to States

We provide technical assistance to states on the design, development, adoption, implementation, and communications of their college- and career-ready standards, assessments, curriculum, and accountability systems.

Conduct Research and Development 

Achieve regularly conducts R&D to help advance the work of states as well as the education reform community at large. Our research includes studies of high school graduation requirements, implementation strategies for the Common Core State Standards, state accountability models, and analyses of expectations from countries around the world.

Our work doesn’t stop with the publication of reports; we also develop tools that help states change policies and practices, such as rubrics and audits."...


From Next Generation Science Standards website: 

"Framework for K–12 Science Education,"

"The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences managed the first of two steps in the creation of the Next Generation Science Standards by developing the A Framework for K-12 Science Education, which was released July 2011.

The Framework provides a sound, evidence-based foundation for standards by drawing on current scientific research—including research on the ways students learn science effectively—and identifies the science all K–12 students should know.

To undertake this effort, the NRC convened a committee of 18 individuals who are nationally and internationally known in their respective fields. The committee included practicing scientists, including two Nobel laureates, cognitive scientists, science education researchers, and science education standards and policy experts. In addition, the NRC used four design teams to develop the Framework. These four design teams, in physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering, developed the Framework sections for their respective disciplinary area.

After releasing a public draft in July of 2010, the NRC reviewed comments and considered all feedback prior to releasing the final Framework. The Framework is now being used as the foundation for the Next Generation Science Standards in a collaborative, state-led process that is managed by Achieve."


US taxpayers provide 85% of funding for National Research Council (NRC) and National Academy of Sciences, partners of Next Gen Science:

"Who do the National Academies work for; where does funding come from?", Div. on Engineering and Physical Sciences

"Most of the studies are carried out at the request of government agencies or Congress, some are initiated internally; and a few are proposed by other external sources. About 85 percent of funding comes from the federal government through contracts and grants from agencies and 15 percent from state governments, private foundations, industrial organizations, and funds provided by the Academies member organizations."

NAS/NRC website says, "we are best known for our consensus studies.


More on Achieve and Common Core:

"Common Core Education Without Representation:"

"What is Achieve, Inc., and why should you care?"...

"Achieve, Inc.,  is a Washington, D.C. group formed in 1996 by a group of corporate leaders and some governors who wanted “standards-based education” across states.  (See openly admits that it developed the Common Core and that the organization’s goal is to alter states’ policies.... 
"Leadership of Achieve, Inc.:"
"Michael Cohen has been president of Achieve, Inc. since 2003. Before that, he was a career-long federal education officer:

Michael Cohen has been Director of Education Policy at the National Governors Association (1985-90) and Director of Planning and Policy Development at the National Association of State Boards of Education (1983-1985). During the Clinton Administration he served as Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Assistant to President Clinton for Education Policy, and Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley.

Thus, Michael Cohen went from a career in the U.S. Department of Education to leading Achieve, the national-standards group that wrote the CCSS (Common Core State Standards), to then working for the national standards’ testing arm, PARCC,[Pearson] as its project manager, thus writing the tests for those standards which his group had written, that now will be federally directed and overseen* by the Department he long worked for.".

(*See Cooperative Agreement with SBAC for requirement statements about coordinating and reporting to the federal government and sharing project status and research data collected on students from that test "across consortia.")"...


Via their 85% funding of NRC, taxpayers finance corporate NextGen Science:

Four listed NextGen Science Standards "Partners:"

"The National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve were the lead partners in the two-part process to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The heads of each of these organizations formed the Strategic Partners Group, and met as required to review the progress of the project and provide on-going guidance.

National Research Council: The National Research Council (NRC) is the staffing arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which serve as the nation’s advisors on scientific and technological issues. The NRC coordinated the first phase of the NGSS development process: the development of the Framework for K-12 Science Education.
National Science Teachers Association: The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. Throughout the NGSS development process, NSTA will provide advice to the project and engage the science education community in the feedback process.  
American Association for the Advancement of Science: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. Throughout the NGSS development process, AAAS will provide advice to the project and engage the scientific community in the feedback process.
Achieve: Achieve is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization dedicated to working with states to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability.  Created in 1996 by a bipartisan group of governors and business leaders, Achieve is leading the effort to make college and career readiness a priority across the country so that students graduating from high school are academically prepared for postsecondary success.  Achieve coordinated the second phase of the NGSS development process on behalf of the lead states and other partners."
From Achieve/Common Core website:
..  .
"In 2009, 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), committing to a state-led process - the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI).
Achieve partnered with NGA and CCSSO on the Initiative and a number of Achieve staff and consultants served on the writing and review teams. On June 2, 2010, the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics (CCSS) were released, and since then, over 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards and are now working to implement the standards. 
Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards.

Advocacy and Communications...

*Achieve has developed messaging cards around the Common Core State Standards and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) [Pearson]. They are 4" x 8" messaging cards, with key messages on the front and critical facts on the back, to be shared with other advocates of the Common Core State Standards and common assessments. Download the PDF for CCSS  and the PDF for PARCC. Contact us for hard copies of these cards, or download the InDesign files (CCSS, PARCC). Please note that the InDesign files will only open if you have CS5.5 InDesign or a version higher installed on your computer.

*The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has created grade-by-grade Parent Guides to Student Success on the Common Core State Standards that explore what students should be learning at each grade in mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy in order to be prepared for college and careers. The Guide is available in English and Spanish.

*To inform and rally more advocates within the business community, Achieve and the GE Foundation have developed Business Resources for a College- and Career-Ready America for business leaders interested in supporting college- and career-ready education reform, including the Common Core State Standards and common assessments. "....

From its website, NextGen Science (NGSS) "Sponsors:"

Major sponsor:

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Additional sponsors:

The GE Foundation

The Noyce Foundation

The Cisco Foundation


Comment: What a relief! Parents can relax and let the massive unelected, unaccountable, federal bureaucracy handle everything. 


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