National Center for Science Education
Louisiana's Senate Bill 74 (PDF) was deferred on a 4-3 vote in the Louisiana Senate Education Committee on April 22, 2015, which effectively kills the bill in committee. The bill, introduced by Karen Carter Peterson (D-District 5), would, if enacted, repeal Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1, which implemented the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, passed and enacted in 2008, and thus opened the door for scientifically unwarranted criticisms of evolution and climate science to be taught in the state's public schools.
Writing in Slate (April 21, 2015), Zack Kopplin reports, "I have evidence that religion, not science, is what's being taught systematically in some Louisiana school systems. I have obtained emails from creationist teachers and school administrators, as well as a letter signed by more than 20 current and former Louisiana science teachers in Ouachita Parish in which they say they challenge evolution in the classroom without legal 'tension or fear' because of pro-creationism policies."
NCSE is pleased to announce that Emily Schoerning has joined the NCSE staff as Director of Community Organizing and Research.
Senate Bill 74 (PDF), dubbed the "Intelligent Outcomes Wanted Act," would, if enacted, repeal Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1, which implemented the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, passed and enacted in 2008.
"Some groups that denounced now-rejected changes to West Virginia’s upcoming K-12 science standards regarding global warming are disappointed in new modifications but view them as less harmful than the previous version," according to the Charleston Gazette (April 11, 2015).
"Wading into the Undeniable" (PDF), by NCSE's Stephanie Keep, Ann Reid, and Glenn Branch, was just published in Evolution: Education and Outreach.
The West Virginia state board of education adopted a new set of state science standards largely based on the Next Generation Science Standards on April 9, 2015 — "but," the Charleston Gazette (April 9, 2015) explains, "not without adding in changes suggested by board member Wade Linger to the teaching of global warming."
April 18-25, 2015, is the inaugural Climate Education Week, sponsored by Earth Day Network. To celebrate, the Climate Education Week website is providing K-12 educators with the Climate Education Toolkit — "a free, easy-to-use, ready-to-go resource with everything you need. The Toolkit includes a week's worth of lesson plans, activities, and contests for K-12 students that meet Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core. Each day covers a different theme related to climate change with two highlighted activities handpicked by Earth Day Network for your use." There are videos, contests, a downloadable Earth Day poster, and even an interactive on-line textbook for middle school students — all aimed at helping to promote climate education!
It's time to sharpen your pencils, cudgel your brains, and consult your muse: NCSE is running a bumper sticker contest! This is your chance to help to spread the word about climate change education. Your brilliant idea could end up on the tail end of thousands of (carbon-dioxide-emitting) cars. Your climate change-themed bumper sticker can be funny, fierce, fiery — whatever, as long as it's good. Full details of the contest, and a list of the luscious prizes on offer, are available on NCSE's website. The contest ends on May 31, 2015.
"The vast majority of official comments on new statewide K-12 science standards — the first to require teaching about global warming in mandatory courses — were in favor of them, according to the West Virginia Department of Education," reports the Charleston Gazette (April 6, 2015). With the comments in hand, the West Virginia state board of education is expected to have its final vote on the standards at its April 8, 2015, meeting.
NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the first teacher scholarships on our annual Grand Canyon raft trip: Alyson Miller of Nashua High School North, Nashua, New Hampshire, and Scott Hatfield of Bullard High School, Fresno, California. They will receive an all-expenses-paid eight-day raft trip through the Grand Canyon, guided by two members of NCSE's staff and joining twenty other NCSE members and supporters who purchased seats on the trip. The scholarship funds were donated by the generosity of NCSE's members.
The American Federation of Teachers adopted a resolution in 2014 affirming the role of science in climate change courses.
Science Culture: Where Canada Stands, a new report (PDF) from the Council of Canadian Academies, includes data on Canadian public opinion about evolution and related topics.
NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Kristin Dow and Thomas E. Downing's The Atlas of Climate Change: Mapping the World's Greatest Challenge (University of California Press, 2011).
Scientists and science educators of all stripes — students, postdocs, faculty, and full- or part-time science communicators — are invited to enter the Fifth Annual Evolution Video Competition, sponsored by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Society for the Study of Evolution.
The chorus of support for the teaching of evolution continues, with a statement from the American Federation of Teachers, adopted in 2014.
NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of Darwin award for 2015: Neil Shubin, the Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago, codiscoverer of Tiktaalik roseae and author of Your Inner Fish (2008), and Ronald L. Numbers, the Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of The Creationists (1992, expanded edition 2006).
The Wyoming state board of education voted on March 17, 2015, to return to the task of adopting new science standards, according to Wyoming Public Media (March 17, 2015) — but a proposal to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards outright was rejected.
"The debate over choosing standards for science education in South Dakota's public schools has become a divisive battleground with a clear split between science professionals who strongly support the new standards and opposing parents who disbelieve climate change and evolution," reports the Rapid City Journal (March 17, 2015).