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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2018/06/15

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Colorado adopts a new set of state science standards, complete with 
climate change. But the treatment of climate change in Michigan's 
social studies standards is under attack. Meanwhile, the creationist 
resolution in Louisiana briefly resurfaced.


The Colorado state board of education voted to adopt a new set of 
state science standards on June 13, 2018, despite opposition from 
members of the board who "disliked the way the standards treated 
climate change as a real phenomenon," according to Chalkbeat (June 
14, 2018).

Based in part on the National Research Council's A Framework for K-12 
Science Education, on which the Next Generation Science Standards are 
also based, the new standards recognize, at both the middle school and 
the high school level, the impact of human activities on the global 
climate system.

In contrast, the previous standards were "pretty wishy-washy" on 
climate change, as NCSE's Glenn Branch told the Aurora Sentinel in 
2017. By way of example, he cited the inclusion of the word "might" 
in a standard reading, "Human actions such as burning fossil fuels 
might impact Earth's climate."

The new standards received "overwhelming support ... from science 
teachers" in Colorado, according to Chalkbeat. Voting to accept the new 
standards were Val Flores, Jane Goff, Rebecca McClellan, and Angelika 
Schroeder; voting against were Steve Durham, Joyce Rankin, and Debora 

For the story from Chalkbeat, visit: 

For the new standards (PDF), visit:$file/Science%20-%20CAS%20-%20Spring%202018%20Committee%20Recommendations.pdf 

For the story in the Aurora Sentinel, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage on events in Colorado, visit: 

References to climate change, among other topics, have been removed from 
a draft of Michigan's new proposed social studies standards by "a cadre 
of conservatives," according to a report from Bridge magazine (June 12, 2018). 

Particularly salient was the removal of the impact of global climate change 
as a suggested "Contemporary Investigation Topic" in the standards (p. 44) for 
sixth grade, although climate change is still mentioned there as a possible 

According to Bridge, the cadre of conservatives was led by state senator 
Patrick Colbeck (R-District 7), who previously offered comments on the 
standards arguing that climate change is "not settled science."

The standards are not yet final, however; public comment on the standards will 
be accepted at a series of public meetings around the state and also on-line 
until June 30, 2018. The final decision will be taken by the state board of 

For the story from Bridge magazine, visit: 

For the draft standards (PDF), visit: 

For the on-line comment form, visit: 

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


Senate Concurrent Resolution 17, introduced in the Louisiana Senate on May 29, 
2018, would, if passed, have commended a former state senator "on his support 
and endorsement of teaching creationism in public schools."

The resolution would have honored Bill Keith, who sponsored Louisiana's Balanced 
Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act while serving in the 
state senate in 1981. The law was subsequently overturned as unconstitutional by 
the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987. It remains on the 
books, however. As NCSE previously reported, there have been three unsuccessful 
legislative attempts, most recently in 2016, to repeal it.

SCR 17, filed in the Second Extraordinary Session for 2018, is similar to SR 33, 
filed in the Regular Session for 2018. Interestingly, though, where SR 33 claimed, 
"Keith's legislation did not require or allow instruction in any religious 
doctrine," SR 17 claims instead, "Keith courageously advocated for the view that 
the Biblical belief that God created the entire world and human life should be 
taught in Louisiana's schools." SR 33 died when the legislative session adjourned 
in May 2018.

Similarly, SCR 17 died when the Second Extraordinary Session adjourned on June 4, 
2018. A Third Extraordinary Session convenes on June 18, 2018. The chief sponsor 
of SCR 17 (and of SR 33 before it) was John Milkovich (D-District 38).

For the text of Louisiana's Senate Concurrent Resolution 17 (PDF), visit: 

For the text of Louisiana's Senate Resolution 33 (PDF), visit: 

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


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

* Stephanie Keep discussing NOVA's Decoding the Weather Machine: 

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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