State Board Approves Revised Science Standards

On July 12, 2001 the Pennsylvania Board of Education gave final approval to revised science standards. Some language in preliminary versions of the standards had raised questions about their treatment of evolution. Science educators and other Pennsylvania citizens expressed concern that the proposed standards might open the way to teaching creationism in science classes because of ambiguous or unclear wording. However, the final standards do not contain these potential problems. The standards now must be approved by the legislature.

In late June the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) had commented on the preliminary science standards. The Commission reviews and must approve a wide variety of regulations issued in Pennsylvania. The Commission suggested a number of changes to clarify various sections, including those which might affect discussions of evolution. Its comments seem to have influenced the wording of the final standards.

To read the IRRC's comments on the preliminary standards, go to: