Hawaii school board chief Catherine Payne urges dropping Acellus online curriculum

Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne wants Hawaii’s schools to stop using the Acellus distance-learning program by the end of the academic year and allow parents to opt out immediately.

Payne has put the subject on the agenda for action at Thursday’s board meeting, directing the Department of Education to phase out the controversial curriculum. In a memo, she called the department’s selection of Acellus “a mistake made in the midst of chaos brought on by the pandemic.”

Some teachers and parents in Hawaii have decried the content on the video-based instructional platform as racist, sexist, inaccurate, outdated and lacking rigor. The Acellus Learning Accelerator, owned by the unaccredited International Academy of Science in Kansas City, Mo., offers more than 300 courses in kindergarten through 12th grade and is used by home­schooling students and schools across the country.

Previously, Acellus online courses had been used by some secondary schools in

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Education watchdogs give Texas an ‘F’ for its climate change curriculum

Texas is one of just six states to receive an “F” grade for its teachings of climate change in public schools, according to a Thursday report by the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network Education Fund and the National Center for Science Education.



A natural gas facility near Coyanosa, Texas, Aug. 12, 2020. (Jessica Lutz/The New York Times)


© JESSICA LUTZ /NYT

A natural gas facility near Coyanosa, Texas, Aug. 12, 2020. (Jessica Lutz/The New York Times)


The report said Texas’ standards “largely ignore the issue” of climate change and generally fail to acknowledge the seriousness of the crisis. The findings come as Texas is in the process of updating its science curriculum standards, which will be finalized next month.

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“Scientists have long warned that climate change would lead to increasingly extreme weather events, and it’s critical that education policymakers in Texas and elsewhere act with the urgency the crisis requires,” Kathy Miller, president of the TFN Education Fund, said in a release. “This means

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New Zealand Initiative calls for revamp of ‘unscientific’ curriculum and child-led philosophy

The New Zealand Initiative is calling for a revamp of New Zealand’s curriculum

taylor wilcox/unsplash

The New Zealand Initiative is calling for a revamp of New Zealand’s curriculum

A Wellington-based think tank has called for a revamp of New Zealand’s curriculum, describing the current system as unscientific and the cause of a decline in student achievement.

The New Zealand Initiative argues the curriculum should be evidence based rather than based on the “philosophy” of child-centred learning.

Author Briar Lipson said despite a rise in per-pupil spending, New Zealand’s international achievement rates had been falling.

According to the report, New Zealand’s Education Delusion: How bad ideas ruined a once world-leading school system, in the year 2000 the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), ranked New Zealand 15-year olds as third in the OECD for reading and maths, and sixth for science literacy.

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New Zealand Initiative calls for revamp of ‘unscientific’ curriculum

The New Zealand Initiative is calling for a revamp of New Zealand’s curriculum

taylor wilcox/unsplash

The New Zealand Initiative is calling for a revamp of New Zealand’s curriculum

A Wellington-based think tank has called for a revamp of New Zealand’s curriculum, describing the current system as unscientific and the cause of a decline in student achievement.

The New Zealand Initiative argues the curriculum should be evidence based rather than based on the “philosophy” of child-centred learning.

Author Briar Lipson said despite a rise in per-pupil spending, New Zealand’s international achievement rates had been falling.

According to the report, New Zealand’s Education Delusion: How bad ideas ruined a once world-leading school system, in the year 2000 the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), ranked New Zealand 15-year olds as third in the OECD for reading and maths, and sixth for science literacy.

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COVID-19 curriculum aims to reshape public health education

small pox hospital
“View of Smallpox Hospital” by Paul Emmert, c. 1853–59, Hawaiʻi Historical Society

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted educators in Hawaiʻi to provide a historical look at contagious diseases in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. An interdisciplinary curriculum, COVID-19, the Latest Hawaiian Epidemic: Educating for Health, Responsibility, and Resilience Through a Place-Based, Cultural Lens, that compares and contrasts Hawaiian historical timelines and science phenomena associated with COVID-19, is the brainchild of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education Curriculum Studies Professor Pauline Chinn.

Pauline Chinn

The curriculum has multiple purposes: to understand COVID-19 in historical contexts, examine leaders’ actions in a crisis, and teach students about ways to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. Chinn, graduate students Kaleolani Hanohano and Alison Yasuoka, and Hawaiian translator graduate assistants Riley Wells and Kyle Nakatsuka, developed a series of lessons that include: hands-on activities, simulations, models,

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Newsom vetoed high school ethnic studies bill after complaints from Jewish groups about curriculum

SACRAMENTO — Jewish groups angered by their exclusion from a proposed ethnic studies curriculum for California high school students credited their concerns in large part for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto of a bill requiring the course for graduation.

It was the latest twist in a fight that has lasted more than a year over whether California’s high school students should be required to take an ethnic studies class and, if so, what should be included. The bill’s author pulled it in 2019 after a similar dispute over the course material. This year a revised version of the bill easily passed the Legislature, but Wednesday night, Newsom vetoed it.

In his veto message, the governor said only that the curriculum still needed more work because it was “insufficiently balanced and inclusive.”

AB331 would have added a one-semester ethnic studies course to the high school graduation requirement, starting with the 2029-30 academic

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California Unveils Plans for K-12 Anti-Racism Curriculum

Illustration for article titled California Announces ‘Education to End Hate’ Curriculum, Trump’s Threats to Withhold Funding Be Damned

Photo: Sam Wasson (Getty Images)

California has decided to swipe left on y’all’s president’s threats to withhold funding from the state if it implements antiracism courses into its school curricula. On Monday, the Golden State unveiled plans to offer antiracist training to public school officials and students as well as mandatory ethnic studies courses for public schools.

Newsweek reports that California’s Department of Education defines the “Education to End Hate” initiative as a training program that aims to “empower educators and students to confront the hate, bigotry, and racism rising in communities across the state and nation.”

From Newsweek:

The initiative will offer educators $200,000 annually in mini-grants for receiving antiracism and bias training; allow students, educators, and families to attend a “virtual classroom series” to address modern-day discrimination and how to end it; and roundtable discussions between lawmakers, educators and prominent racial and social justice organizations

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