Science education under attack: Arizona Department of Education officials are trying to remove the word “evolution” from the state’s science standards.
More than 100 educators working to revamp the Arizona standards for teaching kids science were surprised by edits made by the Arizona Department of Education nixing the word “evolution.”
Department staff deleted or qualified the word ‘evolution’ throughout the document.
More on the proposed changes to the state’s science standards from CBS:
The March 2018 draft was later released to the public showing the word “evolution” crossed out in several areas and replaced with phrases including “how traits within populations change over time” or “biological diversity.” In other parts of the draft, the phrase “theory of evolution” is added.
Lacey Wieser, the department’s former director of K-12 science education, said she resigned rather than implement the changes made during the unprecedented internal review.
As a professional, as a science educator, I just could not support teaching students this incorrect idea of what science is.
Commenting on the new standards, Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, said:
We can be quite sure, I think, that the revisions are aimed deliberately at softening the treatment of evolution, and thus misleading teachers and students about the scientific standing of evolution.
These are very bad revisions that were made, they clearly weren’t endorsed by the writing committee, and it’s somewhat disrespectful to them to make these changes.
The woman behind the effort to erase evolution from the state’s science standards is Diane Douglas, a Republican, an anti-abortion religious conservative, and the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Douglas is a controversial figure who faced a recall effort immediately after her election by voters who felt she was not qualified for the position. Last month she made headlines after threatening striking teachers with loss of employment and teaching license.
Bottom line: Guided by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, a religious conservative, and a Republican, Arizona is trying to delete evolution from the state’s science standards.
And, as always, it is the children who will suffer.