The anti-Creationism: will schools in the US embrace new pro-science curriculum?

A new plan to include climate change and evolution in science class is due this month, but it's up to states to adopt

Baking soda volcanoes just aren't cutting it anymore. American public school students in science classes of the near-future should be taught that human activity is leading to global warming by the end of eighth grade, that DNA supports the theory of evolution by the end of high school, and that human beings can engineer cleaner energy sources and more abundant food and water supplies, according to a new national education plan for kindergarten through high school, due to be released by the end of March.
The plan, called Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), is being finalized right now by a crack team of 41 experts from around the country, made up of science teachers, school officials and even a researcher at the DuPont chemical company. It's completely voluntary and up to each state's of board of education to adopt the final plan, and 26 states have been helping craft it over the past two years.
But not all of them may end up adopting NGSS, and many outside of the group helping to write it almost certainly won't. Already, the Texas Education Agency has declared it won't be using NGSS to guide what is taught in its public schools, whatever the final version contains. But the reasons Texas is abstaining, and why many other states may join it in holding out, are far more complicated than just the fact that the final plan is set to include hot-button, politically charged issues like climate change, evolution and geoengineering. After all, many schools across the country already teach these topics. The NGSS is just the first time they are being suggested, and seriously considered, on the national scale.

By Carl Franzen
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