Update from Nebraska


The Nebraska state board of education heard from the public about a proposed set of new state science standards (PDF), according to the Omaha World-Herald (August 7, 2017) — and climate change and evolution were front and center.

"Michael Fryda, a science teacher at Westside High School and 2010 Nebraska teacher of the year, said climate change is 'established scientific fact,'" the newspaper reported, while a former member of a local school board described global warming as a hoax.

Yet while a previous draft of the standards treated climate change as settled science, the World-Herald noted, the current draft expects students to "evaluate the reliability and validity" of climate models.

The same former school board member expressed his preference for "intelligent design" to be taught alongside evolution, though the draft standards expect students to understand how "multiple lines of evidence" support evolution.

The draft science standards in Nebraska are similar, although not identical, to the Next Generation Science Standards, so far adopted in eighteen states and the District of Columbia. The board is anticipated to vote on the standards in September 2017.