Letter to the Editor | I want science to be taught in science class | By Mary Weigand

March 25, 2018 – West Bend, WI – It has come to my attention there is a rumor that I do not believe in science and am against teaching science in our schools. Since I have been approached by no one, let me set the record straight. I am a registered nurse, currently working in a hospital. I use math and scientific principles every time I work. I love science and the scientific method. I passed my nursing science classes with flying colors (chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology). So, I wonder, why these false accusations? They are coming from people who do not want a real conservative on the school board. Let me explain what I believe should be taught in science class in our local schools.
I believe science should be taught in our schools. No, that is not a mistake in redundancy. Let me say it again. I believe, and want, science to be taught in science class.
I also believe that terms like evolution need to be defined. Taking a scientifically valid phenomena like natural selection and mutations developing modern dog breeds and coyotes from wolves is not evidence for molecules to man evolution. It just shows dogs come from dogs. Theories about origins have no place in K-12 education unless all theories are equally critiqued. Anything less is indoctrination. So, I choose to simply keep it out of schools and leave that training for parents.
Let me explain further by this example: Science is building a rocket and flying to the moon. Studying moon rocks and its geology is science. However, the realm of science is left when one begins to talk about the origin of the moon or how long it has been around. Origin theories add nothing to working science. Now I would also like to share my heart about standards and curriculum.
Standards spell out expectations; curriculum is the meat and potatoes. What the teacher does in the classroom is the flavoring and serving by their engagement ability, presentation, room decor, etc. By state law and West Bend School Board policy, the school board approves standards and curriculum.
Education is quickly changing, and not entirely for the better. What was once largely locally decided has become quasi-mandates from outside groups at both state and federal levels. Local boards still have the authority to impact curriculum, but it is becoming more and more difficult. When I was considering running for school board I heard from highly respected local people that I needed to talk about curriculum. I have talked to so many parents that tell me they are frustrated with what their kids are learning in school. Some have even told of their frustration over their child struggling with learning the “new math” (Common Core) and how they cannot help them because they don’t understand it themselves. And while the proposed Wisconsin social studies standards include the Constitution and Bill of Rights, it wrongly emphasizes our rights come from the US Supreme Court and United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
Our local board can alter the standards for our district and change that around. In doing so, I believe we will truly become a destination school district.
I understand these issues and will work hard to make positive changes in curriculum.
Mary P. Weigand
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