Enlarge / New Mexico, land of disenchantment.
In the US, most education standards are set by the individual states, and local communities are free to develop lesson plans that ensure that their students meet the state’s expectations. Unfortunately, that has often led to education standards becoming ideological battlegrounds, as different groups try to put their stamp on things like history education.

Even more unfortunately, battles often break out over basic reality, as scientific topics that people reject for cultural or ideological reasons—think evolution and climate change—can get diluted or eliminated entirely from the state standards.
In an attempt to make it easier for states to handle science education a bit better, a group of prestigious scientific societies banded together to make their own science education standards.

The resulting Next Generation Science Standards were offered to the states free of charge, allowing them to be adopted in their entirety or modified to fit a state’s needs.
Last week, it became apparent that New Mexico’s modification of the standards was a bit extreme, eliminating references to climate change, the age of the Earth, and evolution.

And this week, some New Mexico legislators are blaming it on a misguided attempt to “politically sanitize” the science.
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