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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2017/09/15

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

There's good news and bad news for climate change in Nebraska's new
state science standards.


At its September 8, 2017, meeting, the Nebraska state board of
education voted 6-1 to adopt a new set of state science standards, the
Omaha World-Herald (September 8, 2017) reported.

The standards, according to the World-Herald, "will introduce climate
change in Nebraska high school science classes for the first time,"
since the previous standards, adopted in 2010, contained no specific
references to climate change.

But the treatment of climate change in the new standards deteriorated
while they were under development. In the May 2017 draft of the
standards, sixth-grade students were expected to "[a]sk questions to
clarify the evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in
global temperatures over the past century," while in the adopted
standards, they are expected to "[a]sk questions to clarify evidence
of the factors that have caused a change in global temerpatures over
thousands of years." The revision obscures the rapidity of the rise in
the last century and its connection to human activity.

Similarly, in the May 2017 draft of the standards, high school
students were expected to "[g]ather and analyze models from past and
current Earth conditions to recognize patterns in climate change over
time and make a projection of future climate trends," while in the
adopted standards, they are expected to "[a]nalyze the validity and
reliability of past and present models of Earth conditions to make
projections of future climate trends and their impacts." The revision
thus unrealistically expects high school students to assess the
validity of scientific models of the climate.

"The inclusion of climate change in the new Nebraska science standards
is certainly welcome," commented NCSE's executive director Ann Reid.
"But it's a shame that the better language of the original draft
wasn't retained."

Public comment on the standards at the August 2017 meeting of the
board of education reportedly centered on climate change and
evolution, but no changes to those areas resulted.

For the story in the Omaha World-Herald, visit: 

For the new standards (PDF), visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Nebraska, visit: 


Have you been visiting NCSE's blog recently? If not, then you've missed:

* Brad Hoge interviewing Grand Canyon teacher Marie Story: 

For NCSE's blog, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Oakland CA 94612-2922
fax 510-788-7971 

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