Idaho Releases Revamped Science Standards Proposal

May 19, 2017

Credit Terry McCombs / Flickr Creative Commons

A state committee has made another attempt to break a deadlock over addressing climate change in Idaho classrooms.

But the last word in this three-year controversy belongs to Idaho lawmakers — who removed references to climate change from state science standards earlier this year.

The State Department of Education unveiled five new climate change standards on Friday, with wording designed to address lawmakers’ concerns. The new language suggests that “human intervention can mitigate potential issues with climate,” according to an SDE summary.

“All of the statements were updated to start with a focus on the solutions rather than just outlining the problems with human impacts on Earth’s systems,” the SDE said in its summary.

The 2017 Legislature removed five standards that reference climate change and human impact on the environment. Lawmakers suggested that the language did not address both sides of the debate over climate change, and did not consider the possibility that human activity can have a positive effect on global climate.

Lawmakers adopted the remaining science standards earlier this year. They went into effect on a temporary basis, and will be reviewed in full in 2018.

After the legislative session, the SDE solicited public feedback online and held a series of six public meetings across the state. Then an SDE committee began working on a rewrite.

Click here to read the entire story from Idaho Ed News.