The Commonwealth of Kentucky: United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Daily Prompt: A House Divided

Pick a divisive issue currently in the news. Write a two-part post in which you take on two personas and approach the topic from both sides.
Bonus points for a creative format (roundtable discussion, debate transcript, etc.).
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/daily-prompt-divided/

As a resident of the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, there is a recent issue that has really managed to worm its way into my brain, set root, and fester a bit.
Next Generation Science Standards

Now, for those of you who don’t know what Next Generation (Next Gen) is setting the standards for the science curriculum taught across the states. It has complied standards, information, and opinions of 26 different states; Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

It’s main goal is to standardize what is taught in science classrooms, at every age and institution, across the United States. Several of the topics are already taught, such as, Forces and Interactions, Weather and Climate, Life Cycles and Traits, Earth’s Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth, Natural Selection and Adaptations, Chemical Reactions … and more. The rest can be found here>> http://www.nextgenscience.org/search-standards

I plan to approach this topic as a debate with myself.
I apologize… for any inconsistencies.

While the Kentucky Board of Education, adopted these standards in June, they just recently held hearings to get feedback from the general public. It is a bummer that I didn’t know about this, because I would have been there in support of these new standards.

No you wouldn’t have. You would have been sitting there quietly. Don’t pretend you’ve got the ability to speak publicly. 

Really? That’s where we’re going with this? Okay, great. Lovely. I’ll prove you wrong.
This ought to be taught, NOW, in every school regardless of where in the state it’s located.

Yeah, sure, like that would go over well in parts of the state that have been ‘under-educated‘ 

…. I had the floor, wait your turn.

No. It’s not a professional debate, it’s just us ‘two’ here, arguing. I can say what I want, when I want. Stop trying to be proper. 

I swear, if you stick your tongue out at me again, I’ll just leave.

That’d mean I’d win. Hah.

Oh, yeah,.. rats.

So, you say this should be taught in every school no matter what? What about areas of the state that firmly believe that Creationism is how the world came to be? You know, using exactly what the Holy Bible has to say, that the Earth is only a few thousand years old… Plus, we all know that we didn’t come from monkeys. Evolution is a theory, not a fact. And, it’s a bad ‘theory’ anyways. 

Hold on there sunshine, you do realize you’re just being silly, right? First off, evolution does not say that we come from monkeys, it merely states that we have common ancestors. Common ancestors. Get that through your thick skull already. Creationism, as in seven 24 hour days, is refuted strictly by the fossil record.

Oh yeah, the fossil record. Sure. Don’t you know that man and dinosaur existed side by side?

(rolls eyes) No comment.

Plus, we don’t need, oh what did he say ‘Outsiders are telling public school families that we must follow the rich man’s elitist religion of evolution…’ does this mean you think you’re better than me? 

No comment. I’m going to let you talk yourself stupid.

You’re a real prat sometimes, you know this right?

Yeah, but, continue. Please…

 Fine. I will. Matt Singleton, a Baptist minister, was one of the major opponents. He says that ‘this fascist method teaches that our children are property of the state.’ I think he’s right. 

So you agree that it’s ‘fascist’. You do know what fascism is, right? Or are we going to agree that he’s using it strictly as a derogatory term?

We’ll probably never know. 

So, let’s just throw his statements out the windows, as you don’t know how to discern them, and neither do I. I’d rather not bicker over one mans use of a insult.

Well, you know that these types of standards will make students that have religious beliefs, be picked on. That’s how the world works. If you’re different, then you’re going to get picked on, and that’s just not fair. 

No, that’s not how the world works. People get picked on, and ridiculed, because there are mean people on this planet. Plain and simple. You cannot even begin to blame this on the fact that some people believe in Jesus, some in Allah, and some in nothing at all. The world, in general, is pretty tolerant of everyone’s belief system. It’s how we’ve come to further ourselves in the past several decades.
The world is not a nice place either, don’t pretend that hiding from scientific fact will make your children, and theirs, less likely to be ridiculed. If anything, they’re more likely to be poked fun at, because they don’t understand what modern science had brought us.

And religion has brought us many great things. Like, like … 

Like what exactly? What has religion in schools brought us? A greater divide? A generation that had to wait until they were out of public schools and into higher education to understand anything about modern science? A generation that should have known loads of things about climate change, evolution, and basic principles of the solar system …
No, religion involved in schools has brought us outdated material for years.

But, wait, you’re using all the bad things against us. We taught children to pray in schools…

Prayer in schools is not relevant to this topic.
Please find something on topic to discuss.

You know very well that religion in schools is a good thing. When there was religion being taught in schools there weren’t any…

Stop right there… If you’re not going to talk on the topic, then I suggest we end this discussion.

But… but…

No. These new standards being incorporated into science classrooms are only good. They’re based strictly on facts. Strong, well researched, facts.
I move to end this discussion.

No. You’re wrong. 
You’re being petty.

Excuse me? I’m being petty? You’re not even using your own arguments here, you’re using someone else’s that you cannot validate. You’re not even taking time to do any research on what this is.

There is nothing you can do to persuade me. 

I know. I’ve presented some facts, which to you, are not facts because they don’t fit into your idea of what is and isn’t true. To you, I sound like I’m trying to smash your belief system, when in all reality, God gave us our brain and the ability to reason. You seem to have given up on using that system of logic, and I cannot even bring points to you in a decent manner without you attempting to undermine what I’m saying with things that are not relevant.
Bravo.
You tried, and failed.

I only hope that the Commonwealth of Kentucky stands it’s ground in this decision.
It brought new standards to the nation as a whole, enacted them for our state, and although it has opened up grounds for discussion, I only hope for the science to prevail.

Part of me feels like I should be GLaDOS, because there is science to be done!

 

 

For those curious, this has been talked about in several places online. Here are a few good ones.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/next-generation-science-standards_n_3672418.html
http://www.thespectrum.com/viewart/20130726/FAITH/307260010/Kentucky-s-new-science-standards-draw-heated-debate

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