BISMARCK, N.D.—A survey of mostly parents and teachers conducted by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has found a low level of satisfaction with Common Core science standards.
According to the results, nearly 70 percent of respondents rated the standards as “fair” or “poor,” with more than 50 percent saying “poor.”
The survey, conducted from April to June 2014, also asked respondents to rate the standards on clarity, rigor and whether the number of standards applied to each grade and school year was reasonable.
A plurality of 38 percent of respondents strongly disagreed the standards are clear, 44 percent strongly disagreed they are sufficiently rigorous, and 40 percent strongly disagreed the number of standards per grade are reasonable for a school year.
Parents made up 45 percent of the survey’s respondents, and 35 percent were teachers. The remaining 18 percent were school administrators, higher education officials, students and community members.
A total of 90 people responded to the survey. No margin of error was listed.
Among the public comments included with the survey was a letter from Jason Bohrer, president of the Lignite Energy Council, an association representing North Dakota’s coal industry. Bohrer was critical of the standard’s emphasis on human-caused climate change.
“An important principle of science is that the study of our natural world remains largely composed of theories in pursuit of proof,” Bohrer wrote. “As such, it is important that subject matter being presented to students as part of the science curriculum should not be used to teach ‘standards’ in the absence of hard facts to support the conclusion drawn by the standard.”
Other comments included in the survey anonymously called the standards “disjointed” and suggested they instruct students to “feel bad for consuming natural resources.”
A request for comment sent to Superintendent of Public Schools Kirsten Baesler received no response.
North Dakota began implementing common core standards in 2010.