Wyoming would like to emphasize the role of mineral extraction in its state history and avoid discussing climate change. Butte-Silver Bow Public Library
Over the past several years, a number of states have worked with organizations including the National Research Council, National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science to develop new standards for teaching science in public schools.
The result, termed the Next Generation Science Standards, provides states with a chance to update their science education goals to focus more on the scientific process. So far, nine states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards.
But the process hasn’t always been smooth. In Kentucky, the Governor adopted them over the objections of state legislators. In Kansas, the adoption resulted in a lawsuit that sought to block their adoption.
Now, in the latest wrinkle, the Wyoming legislature has preemptively blocked their use in that state.
The problem isn’t with the educational approach taken by the standards; rather, it’s with their content.
The Next-Gen Standards include the modern understanding of evolution and climate science.
The lawsuit mentioned above claims that the standards violate religious freedom by compelling students to study evolution.