Kansas' New Science Standards Make Evolution And Climate Change Key Part Of Curriculum

The Kansas State Board of Education voted Tuesday to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a new science curriculum that treats evolution and climate change as fact and promotes hands-on learning.

Officials in Kansas previously helped craft the K-12 curriculum with the help of 25 other states and several national organizations. The standards have already been approved by state boards in Rhode Island and Kentucky, according to Education Week.

The Kansas board passed the new standards in an 8-2 vote, and encountered significantly less opposition to evolution and climate change principles than in the past, reports the Associated Press. The state voted to weaken evolution teaching in 1999 and 2005, although it adopted an evolution-friendly science curriculum in 2007.

Nonetheless a report released Thursday by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute claims Kansas’ previous standards were “clearly superior” to the NGSS. The reviewers make no mention of the standards' treatment of evolution or climate change, but they say the approved curriculum overlooks key concepts and places too much emphasis on hands-on learning.

“We think that the ones you are ushering out the door are superior," Institute President Chester Finn said in a conference call with reporters, per the Associated Press. "I hope you give them a very nice going-away party."

While Kansas updates its statewide curriculum, a school board in Ohio is currently considering adopting creationism into its curriculum, despite opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union.



Graduation Rates Nationwide 2010-2011