Science

Science Standards Challenged Again in West Virginia Over Global Warming

By Liana Loewus — February 29, 2016 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

It’s been almost a year since the West Virginia school board voted to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, though with a few changes to the wording on climate change.

But now the science standards, which are set to go into place July 1, are being challenged once again. The West Virginia House of Delegates voted on Friday (by a margin of 73-20) to delay implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards for another year. House members have complained that the standards “don’t reflect both sides of the global warming debate,” reports the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The standards, as originally written, say in several places that global temperatures have risen and that human activities are a primary cause—a stance more than 95 percent of climate scientists agree with.

But some West Virginia delegates say global warming should not be taught as a given. “In an energy-producing state, it’s a concern to me that we are teaching our kids potentially that we are doing immoral things here in order to make a living in our state,” Delegate Jim Butler, R-Mason, told the Gazette-Mail. “We need to make sure our science standards are actually teaching science and not pushing a political agenda.” West Virginia is among the nation’s largest coal producers.

The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate, which is also Republican-led. If it does pass, West Virginia students will continue learning the current state science standards.

It’s a bit surprising this debate has come to a head again because the West Virginia board of education had already made some tweaks to the Next Generation Science Standards to satisfy climate change doubters. Rather than including the language that global temperatures “have risen,” the board modified the standards to say there have been “changes” in temperatures.

The National Science Teachers Association has never considered West Virginia an NGSS adopter because of these modifications. The Mountain State not included, 17 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards.


Related stories:


For more news and information on reading, math, and STEM instruction:

And sign up here to get alerts in your email inbox when stories are published on Curriculum Matters.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Science Opinion Four Good Science Teaching Strategies & How to Use Them
Three science educators share their "go-to" teaching strategies, including encouraging student talk & implementing project-based learning.
11 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Science Opinion The Three Most Effective Instructional Strategies for Science—According to Teachers
Three science educators share their favorite instructional strategies, including incorporating a sense of play in their classes.
9 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Science Make Science Education Better, More Equitable, Says National Panel
States must take steps to ensure that all students get a fair shot at learning science, says the National Academies of Science report.
3 min read
Illustration of father and child working on computer.
Getty
Science Q&A Many Schools Don't Teach About the Science of Vaccines. Here's Why They Should
Schools play an important role in confronting misinformation and mistrust in vaccines by helping students understand how they work.
7 min read
Ainslee Bolejack, freshman at Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kansas, prepares to receive her first COVID-19 vaccine on May 17, 2021, at Topeka High. Unified School District 501 held a clinic at all their high schools welcoming students now 12-years-old and up to receive their vaccination.
Freshman Ainslee Bolejack prepares to receive her first COVID-19 vaccine on May 17, 2021, at Topeka High School in Kansas. Unified School District 501 held a clinic at all its high schools for students 12 and older to receive their vaccinations.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP