By Dr. Amanda Glaze
It was good news for Alabama’s students when the state board of education voted unanimously to adopt a new set of state science standards in 2015. Supported by science teachers throughout the state, the new standards lay the framework for Alabama students to achieve the scientific understanding and abilities they will need to prosper in the twenty-first century.
But that achievement is now under threat in the state legislature. House Joint Resolution 78, which has already passed the House and is now headed for the floor of the Senate, is that threat. If passed, the resolution would be a message from the legislature to science teachers, telling them to disregard or contradict the standards whenever they please.
How so? The resolution urges educational administrators to “refrain from prohibiting” teachers from presenting “the scientific strengths and the scientific weaknesses” of scientific theories taught “within the curriculum framework developed by the State Board of Education” — meaning the new science standards and material based on them.
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