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U-46 Curriculum plans approved via split votes
By Seth Hancock
Two science curriculum proposals were approved by the Board of Education in School District U-46 with 5-2 votes, Cody Holt and Jeanette Ward voting no, at its meeting on Monday, April 24.
The proposals included an elementary science resource adoption, costing $1.8 million, as well as a secondary science curriculum proposal, costing $3.3 million.
Ward, who attended the meeting via phone due to a work commitment, said that she was unable to access much of the online resources because of technical errors by the resource provider, and one of the resources she was able to review was one-sided.
Included in the elementary proposal was Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) Fusion Science Dimensions, costing $683,676, and will be used for fifth and sixth graders.
“The HMH Science Dimensions portion of this proposal costs almost $700,000, and for that to not be fully functional and available for the Board of Education to review before we vote is not acceptable to me,” said Ward who added she was unable to access the student portion of National Geographic’s Exploring Science, a resource costing $549,228 and to be used in third and fourth grade classrooms.
Ward said Pearson’s Interactive Science, a resource for first and second graders costing $522,563, “looks good” but because “we need to vote on these as a whole, I must vote no.”
HMH resources (Biology 2018, Chemistry 2017 and Physics 2017) were also included in the secondary science proposal for high school classes and will cost $1.2 million, and Ward had the same access issues.
The seventh and eighth grade resource in the proposal is Smithsonian’s STC Carolina Middle School Science, costing $2.1 million, and Ward referenced a clear bias presenting man-made climate change theories as fact.
It “presents anthropogenic global warming as undisputed fact, and it is not,” Ward said. “There are other opinions and evidence about it.”
Ward posted examples of the bias on social media which shows the resource claiming there’s a consensus on the theory and encouraging students to lobby government to pass legislation to combat climate change, and it presents fear tactics claiming plants may not survive and there will be a lack of food due to climate change.
Approved by unanimous vote that evening were four contracts totaling over $600,000, and bid proposal items costing $3.1 million. Also approved 7-0 was $7.1 million in itemized bills.