Arizona State Education Board Affirms Teaching of Evolution

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The Arizona State Board of Education will adopt revised history and social science standards that affirm the teaching of evolution.

The vote Monday follows an outcry by parents and teachers last month protesting a proposal to remove references to evolution and climate change from state science standards.

The department aimed to add more depth to the standards in the revisions, emphasizing "three-dimensional learning," according to Department of Education documents.

The revised standards also incorporate what's called the "engineering design process." The process encourages students to investigate problems and find solutions to those problems using science.

Under the revised history and social science standards, students will "build on the facts to look at the larger picture," according to Department of Education documents. Students studying Christopher Columbus, for example, might examine "Why is Columbus Day a national holiday but also a source of conflict among different communities today?"

Other changes include adding more financial literacy standards, giving students two consecutive years of U.S. history in fourth and fifth grade, and two consecutive years of global history in sixth and seventh grade.

The revised standards will be used by K-12 public district and charter schools statewide.

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The revisions will be fully implemented by the 2019-2020 school year.

Standards outline what a student should know by the end of each school year.

The last time the state updated the history and social science standards was in 2005. The science standards were last updated in 2004.

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