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A Common Core-aligned elementary school homework assignment in a Jefferson County, Colorado school district tells children that by 2512, Kansas will be an oceanfront state, that the “Smokey” Mountains [sic] will become the “Smokey” Islands [sic], and that a sharp decline in the human population will take place, all due to man-made global warming.

According to Complete Colorado, the assignment, labeled as “Common Core Comprehension Grade 5,” given at the Fremont Elementary School, is identified as a science fiction exercise in reading comprehension, but in “no part of the material, including a sheet of follow-up questions” is there “any critical thinking ‘pushback’ against the narrative provided in the exercise.”

The observation raises an irony, given that proponents of Common Core state that one of the main features of the new standards is that they encourage “critical thinking” over mere memorization of facts.

Priscilla Straughn, Executive Director of Educational Research and Design at Jefferson County Public Schools, told Complete Colorado, “We have district policy around controversial materials we expect all schools to follow.”

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