Update from Idaho


At its February 14, 2018, meeting, Idaho's Senate Education Committee heard testimony on the proposed state science standards. According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review (February 14, 2018), "fourteen people testified, all strongly in favor of adopting the revised standards as presented by the state Board of Education, rather than deleting parts."

As NCSE previously reported, the House Education Committee previously rejected one performance expectation standard as well as all of the "supporting content" material; puzzlingly, most of the material (all but four passages in the supporting content) rejected by the House Education Committee in 2018 was approved by it in 2017.

Although the testifiers frequently emphasized the importance of including scientifically accurate material about climate change and human impact on the environment in the standards, the senators on the Senate Education Committee were silent about climate change, mainly focusing their questions on the status of the supporting content.

Duncan Robb of the state department of education defended the inclusion of the supporting content, telling the committee, "Every piece and line in this document has the full weight and support of the State Department of Education, the full weight and support of the superintendent of public instruction."

The Senate Education Committee took no action on the standards; the chair of the committee was reported as saying that action would ensue in the following week. Ultimately, the House and the Senate have to agree on rejection of the standards in part or in whole in order for them to be rejected; otherwise they will go into effect as submitted.