By John Schwartz
West Virginia education officials on Wednesday retreated from an earlier curriculum decision that expressed doubts about widely held views of climate change.
The State Board of Education voted 6-to-2 to withdraw its altered version of the Next Generation Science Standards, which were developed by 26 states, including West Virginia. The changes had been quietly made by a member of the West Virginia board before it adopted the standards in December.
Once the extent of the changes — including an inserted reference that global temperature rise “and fall” — became known, they were criticized by local and national science educators, as well as West Virginia parents and environmental activists.
The board voted to revert to the original standards, which emphasize the scientific consensus on human activity as a cause of climate change, and will adopt those standards after a 30-day comment period, said Gayle Manchin, the board president and wife of United States Senator Joe Manchin III.
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