New Colorado science standards include climate change

06.14.2018

The Colorado state board of education voted to adopt a new set of state science standards on June 13, 2018, despite opposition from members of the board who "disliked the way the standards treated climate change as a real phenomenon," according to Chalkbeat (June 14, 2018).

Based in part on the National Research Council's A Framework for K-12 Science Education, on which the Next Generation Science Standards are also based, the new standards (PDF) recognize, at both the middle school and the high school level, the impact of human activities on the global climate system.

In contrast, the previous standards were "pretty wishy-washy" on climate change, as NCSE's Glenn Branch told the Aurora Sentinel in 2017. By way of example, he cited the inclusion of the word "might" in a standard reading, "Human actions such as burning fossil fuels might impact Earth's climate."

The new standards received "overwhelming support ... from science teachers" in Colorado, according to Chalkbeat. Voting to accept the new standards were Val Flores, Jane Goff, Rebecca McClellan, and Angelika Schroeder; voting against were Steve Durham, Joyce Rankin, and Debora Scheffel.