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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2018/04/20

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(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Utah's state board of education gives the go-ahead to the development
of a new set of state science standards.


"The Utah State Board of Education greenlit plans Thursday [April 12,
2018] to begin drafting new school science standards, a process likely
to touch on divisive issues like climate change and evolution,"
according to the Salt Lake Tribune (April 13, 2018).

As NCSE previously reported, the Utah state board of education voted
in November 2017 to begin the process of revising the state science
standards for elementary and high school, with the first step the
formation of a committee to review the existing standards and to offer
recommendations for the revised standards.

At the board's April 12, 2018, meeting, the committee offered a
variety of recommendations for the revised standards. A strong
majority (14 of 15) also urged the use of current research on science
education, "with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as a
primary resource." Nineteen states plus the District of Columbia have
already adopted the NGSS.

A single, unidentified, member of the committee recommended including
"a statement to encourage student inquiry by exploring scientific
literature that challenges standard theories" to the introduction to
the revised standards. While no specific theories are identified as
worthy of challenge, it is likely that evolution and/or climate change
are the targets.

Back in November 2017, the prospect that the revised standards would
resemble the NGSS elicited concern from a member of the state board of
education, who complained, "There's a heavy emphasis on global
warming. There's a heavy emphasis on evolution as a fact and not as a
theory," as the Deseret News (November 2, 2017) reported.

"A writing committee will now work to draft the new science standards
for the elementary and high schools," the Salt Lake Tribune notes; the
new standards will be drafted, revised in response to public comment,
and submitted to the board for its approval.

For the story in the Salt Lake Tribune, visit: 

For the story in the Deseret News, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Utah, 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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