Trouble on the horizon in Pennsylvania?

As Pennsylvania begins the process of revising its 17-year-old state science standards, there is concern that the process will "ignite political battles" over the treatment of evolution and climate change, the Pennsylvania Capital-Star (October 16, 2019) reports.

"Educators expect that climate change education will be a major sticking point in the overhaul of Pennsylvania's science standards, which currently lack any mention of human-caused global warming," the article noted. Only three other states—Montana, Nebraska, and Ohio—fail to mention human-caused global warming in their current state science standards.

The inclusion of evolution in the state science standards adopted by Pennsylvania in 2002 was contentious. Since then, Pennsylvania was the site of Kitzmiller v. Dover, the 2005 trial in which teaching "intelligent design" creationism in the public schools was found to be unconstitutional, and saw a bill, House Bill 1007 in 2005, that would have permitted teachers to present "intelligent design" creationism subject to school board approval.

Earlier in 2019, the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association encouraged its members to lobby for the state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, already used in twenty states (plus the District of Columbia).

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.