Bill Nye (The Science Guy!) discusses two lines of logic for Common Core opponents. The first is that standardization might stymie the passion of teachers and take the fun out of learning, an idea that Nye admits deserves some consideration. The second (and inappropriate) reason is that fringe anti-scientists like Creationists would be forced to stop pushing their distorted agenda.
Bill Nye: If I were king of the forest we would have math in the core curriculum. Science would be in the core curriculum. English in the core curriculum. Elementary science is where you get scientists. Everybody in the space program, everybody who's a doctor got interested in science when he or she was seven or eight years old, before they were ten, not when they were 16 or 18. That's where you spend your money is science education in elementary levels. Now, people are opposed to core curriculum I believe for two reasons. One of them good and the other just not.
The first reason, my perception is they are afraid having these core curricula, these standards, prohibits teachers from having time to do other stuff that they're good at. It takes away from other things that a teacher brings to the party. And by that I mean what is your favorite thing about your favorite teacher? And it's his or her passion. It's his or her like I'm so excited about this I want you to get excited about this when you're a little kid or when you're any student at any level, even if you're a 58-year-old guy going to the Smithsonian to take a course in oceanography for fun. It's the passion of the person presenting it that gets you going. So, by having too many standards that have to be met too rigorously, the concern is, and I understand this, that you'll keep students from having any fun and getting excited about anything.
But the other reason people seem to be, my perception of what people don't like about core curricula is that it forces them to learn standard stuff when they could be teaching their kids things that are inconsistent with what we know about science. I'm talking about people that want to teach creationism instead of biology. And that's just bad. And the excuse or the justification is you don't want the government telling you what to do. We all have to learn the alphabet everybody. I'm sorry, if we're we're going to have a successful society, it's not an arbitrary arrangement of letters, you got to learn it. Sorry.
And the same way if you're asking me everybody's got to learn a little bit of physics, chemistry, mathematics and you got to learn some evolution. You've got to learn some biology. I mean the idea is obvious right? You have a certain minimum that everybody's got to meet. What? Everybody's got to learn the alphabet. Everybody's got to learn to read. The U.S. Constitution is written in English so everybody's got to learn to read English. It would be great if you learned some tonal languages, some romance language that would be good, but our laws are written in English. Everybody's got to learn to read English. Everybody's got to learn math. Everybody's got to learn some algebra. Everybody's got to learn some biology including evolution. So what's not to love? But I know there are people opposed to that.
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton