The issue here is not what politicians do because the electorate votes them into office. So what does it mean to complain about what politicians do? We should complain about what the electorate does. I’m an educator, so I see it as one of my duties, especially as a science educator, to alert people of what science is and how it works. About what it means for there to be an objective truth that we would then act upon.
You can’t just cherry-pick data and choose what is true about the world and what isn’t. If you want to lean in a political way because that’s your politics, you should do that based on an objective truth rather than cherry-picking science before you even land at an objective truth. You can’t just cherry-pick data and choose what is true about the world and what isn’t.
So I’m not blaming the electorate in that sense. I’m blaming an educational system that is not positioned to educate an electorate such that they can make informed decisions in this, the 21st century, where informed decisions based on objective scientific truths will play a fundamental role in what kind of society we create for ourselves. [Emphasis mine]
In another part of the interview, deGrasse Tyson says that politicians denying science is the “beginning of the end of an informed democracy.” Ted Cruz saying that he’s not worried about climate change because he saw a lot of snow and ice on a recent visit to New Hampshire suggests we’re well on our way down tht road.
Sure, the CCSS wants to promote and measure critical thinking skills. But the CCSS wants that to happen in the context of contrived situations within an increasingly irrelevant curriculum that most kids don’t care about and will forget as soon as the test is over. Applying those “skills” to the complexities of real life situations doesn’t much transfer if you don’t care about what you’re thinking critically about in the first place.
Give kids the freedom to make “informed decisions” about things they care about, real things in the real world, things that probably aren’t in the standards or on the test, and we’ll get a lot farther down the road to preserving what’s left of this experiment in democracy.