A renewed assault on science in Oklahoma

The attack on the teaching of evolution and of climate change in Oklahoma continues, despite the failure of House Bill 1551 and Senate Bill 1742. As introduced, House Bill 2341 would, if enacted, have extended by two years a deadline by which local school districts are required to meet certain standards for media, equipment, and textbooks. The bill passed the House on a 81-8 vote on March 7, 2012, and proceeded to the Senate Education Committee, where it passed on March 26, 2012.

But on March 28, 2012, Steve Russell (R-District 45) proposed to amend HB 2341 with the addition of a new section containing the language of HB 1551, encouraging teachers to present the "scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of "controversial" topics such as "biological evolution" and "global warming." The proposal will be considered when the bill comes to a floor vote in the Senate; it is currently on the Senate calendar, but not on the Senate agenda, for April 3, 2012.