New state science standards in Indiana

"The Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) today approved new K-12 Indiana Academic Standards in science," according to a June 8, 2022, press release from the Indiana Department of Education. The new standards (PDF) "reflect similar content areas as Indiana's previous 2016 standards, with an increased focus on supporting active student engagement in science learning." There was visible improvement with regard both to evolution and climate change.

The old standards, adopted in 2016, received the grade of F for their treatment of evolution at the middle school level in a 2017 study by Bertha Vazquez published in Evolution: Education and Outreach and the grade of D for their treatment of climate change at the middle and high school level in "Making the Grade?" — the 2020 study by NCSE and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund.

In contrast, the treatment of evolution and climate change in the new standards is similar to the treatment of those topics in the Next Generation Science Standards, which have been adopted so far by twenty states (and the District of Columbia). The new standards moreover include two further Earth and Space Science standards relevant to climate change as well as a set of standards for high school environmental science.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo