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State Updates Decade-Old Science Standards to Require Students Learn Climate Change and Evolution

State Updates Decade-Old Science Standards to Require Students Learn Climate Change and Evolution

Alabama is officially updating its science standards to require that its public school students learn and understand climate change and evolution in the science classroom.

The state has not updated its science standards since 2005, and the previous update did not require either subject be included in its schools' science curriculums.

"The new standards take effect in 2016 after being unanimously approved by the Republican-controlled Alabama State Board of Education on Thursday," according to Al.com.

"No one spoke against the new standards when they were discussed at a board meeting in August, but supporters praised them as a step forward for the state."

In addition to adding climate change and evolution to science classrooms, the new standards also set out to change how science is taught.

"Rather than relying solely on lectures and memorization of facts from textbooks, teachers will now be required to let students figure out things on their own through observation and experimentation, just like real scientists," the article said.

Evolution in particular has had a rocky past in Alabama science classrooms, with textbooks in the state being marked with stickers that carry a disclaimer sticker stating that evolution is a "controversial theory," warnings that were advocated by the state's Christian conservatives.

Despite the change in the standards, there is no set word on whether or not these stickers will be removed.

"A committee that will review science texts could consider whether to remove or alter the stickers, officials said. A public hearing is set for Nov. 9 in Montgomery," the article said.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/14/2015

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