The Weather Channel on Idaho's science standards

04.26.2017

A story on the Weather Channel's website (April 22, 2017) examined the controversy over the legislature's deletion of climate change from the state science standards in detail. "The Idaho Legislature recently voted to remove the requirement to teach climate science to the state’s students. How did the state get here and what happens next?"

As NCSE previously reported, the legislature decided to delete five passages — those discussing climate change and human impact on the environment — from a proposed new set of state science standards for Idaho. The decision is temporary, since a revised set of standards will be submitted to the legislature again in 2018.

The Weather Channel's reporter talked to a particularly wide group of Idahoans, including students, teachers, legislators (some of whom voted for and some of whom voted against the deletion), scientists, businesspeople in areas likely to be affected by climate change, such as agriculture, skiing, and timber, and wildlife managers.

NCSE's Glenn Branch described the deletion as "unprecedented," "a lot more blatant than what other states have done," and "scientifically unwarranted and pedagogically harmful."  "If [the standards] remain as they are, Idaho will have a good claim to have the least adequate state science standards in the country with regard to climate change.”

The Weather Channel's story ended on a high note, quoting the Boise School District's science curriculum director as saying, "In the Boise School District we will continue to teach climate change and investigate human impacts on biodiversity even though they are not mentioned in the standards."