New York Common Core Test Quizzes Kids On Global Warming

Aug 9, 2014 by

Following repeated requests from parents, the state of New York released the text of half the questions used in its new Common Core-aligned standardized tests. The test questions, used in tests for grades 3 through 8, include one question that encouraged students to cite evidence in favor of global warming.

The eighth grade English test included several short written pieces that students had to read and respond to in order to demonstrate English mastery. One such piece was an article originally published on NASA’s website, “The Summer of 2012 –Too Hot To Handle?” The article discusses the high temperatures and drought during the summer of 2012 and looks at whether ordinary weather fluctuations or CO2-driven global warming are to blame.

After reading the article, students were asked to cite the article to describe the overall effect of increased CO2 emissions on the planet’s atmosphere. While the article included input from climate scientists John Christy, a climate change skeptic, the students’ answers were directed to focus exclusively on claims in favor of CO2-driven climate change.

“A response receiving full credit will describe the effect of increased CO2 emissions by explaining the relationship between higher temperatures and increased CO2 in the atmosphere,” says an annotation provided for teachers afterwards. Several sample answers were included, with top-scoring answers describing CO2′s effects as including rising sea levels and higher surface temperatures.

“The effect of increased CO2 emissions is that the atmosphere becomes a heat source itself… Also the average surface temperature of the entire Earth increases,” reads one answer that was awarded a perfect score.

Common Core standards cover only math and English, and do not concern science standards. Nevertheless, critics of the standards have frequently asserted that the standards will be used to push liberal political causes, and questions like that on the New York exam are unlikely to appease them.

The exam questions were released in response to demands by parents and teachers in New York who were distressed when the state’s proficiency levels in math and English plunged upon the switch to the new tests. Common Core supporters say the sharp drops are to be expected since the standards are more rigorous than those used before, while the state department of education has resisted releasing the entire tests, citing a concern that teachers will merely “teach to the test.”

via New York Common Core Test Quizzes Kids On Global Warming | The Daily Caller.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Teacher with a Brain

    Climate is complex and not completely understood. “Climate change” is the more appropriate moniker, as while we may see average temps rise, weather becomes more erratic and extreme, so we will actually see instances where temperatures cool.

    I teach high school Earth Science and I have spent a considerable amount of time looking into the so-called controversy of “climate change,” particularly the scientific consensus that exists. Over 97% of the scientists who study the topic agree that this particular period of climate change is largely human driven. Outside of searching the privately funded “think tank literature,” you can scarcely find serious scientists who challenge this conclusion.

    Most of the “denial literature” is churned out by privately funded organizations and when you look, you find that they are supported by generous donations from, oftentimes, corporate interests that benefit $$$$ by arguing against anthropogenic climate change. Scientific inquiry and publishing, at its best, operates through a peer-reviewed process. However, I acknowledge that in the complex world of special interests and money driven politics, nothing is exempt from corporate influence.

    Professional organizations to which scientists belong, particularly those who study climate directly and indirectly, consistently have issued position statements on the topic expressing their view that anthropogenic climate change is a serious concern. You cannot find a group of research scientists who work in climatology, physical oceanography or meteorology who will argue otherwise with data. The 2+% who disagree can be found in any area of scientific inquiry. Einstein denied the evidence for an expanding universe, Hoyle, the originator of nucleosynthesis, insisted upon a steady state universe, though his colleagues with almost 100% unanimity supported the Big Bang. Some disagreement is healthy and keeps scientists on their toes, but this does not mean the detractors are always right, while their views are oppressed by the majority in their profession. Oftentimes detractors are wrong, though they may continue to push the envelope of inquiry.

    Climate changes and will always do so. We do monitor, for example, the sun carefully, daily from facilities all over the world. The solar astronomers tell us the sun, for example, is not in a phase where it is releasing more energy, the sun is not driving climate change now. This particular iteration of climate change is most likely being driven by human behavior. Sorry to those who do not like this, those who may feel this view threatens the profit making opportunities for big oil and gas, for example.

    How do we place 8 billion (?) persons on the planet, who daily use natural and synthetic materials, who consume energy, water, interact with the hydrosphere, geosphere and the atmosphere, etc. and NOT alter the delicate balance of the factors that change climate? How is it we can unlock and burn the carbon stored for millions of years in fossil fuels via the long carbon cycle and avoid slightly upsetting this balance? Normally the carbon in gas and oil is locked away, however we burn and release it into the atmosphere. This does change the balance of carbon as it cycles through Earth’s spheres.

    When something is NOT controversial in the scientific community, then we should teach that. It is a lie to create the impression that anthropogenic climate change is controversial in climate science. Most of the argument against does not even derive from the scientific community. We should, always, teach science as driven by research and by data. We should teach that the word “theory” when used in science differs from the vernacular definition of a theory. We must teach that in science we continue to collect and analyze data, engaging in lively debate about its value and conclusions. We do not take money from corporations to publish on their behalf information that is of questionable accuracy because it will enable their profits. That is “prostitution.”

    Around 1990 my husband worked for an oil company on a contract at one of their research facilities. Their scientists, at that time, were highly concerned with anthropogenic climate change as an issue. This, however, was before it became a political issue and it was the first time I heard anything about what was to become a “controversy.” They discussed their hypotheses over lunch and explained their thinking and data to my husband (an engineer). Amazing, and what a change when the CEOs, CFOs, board members and major shareholders get involved and feel threatened.

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