For a second consecutive day, a large crowd Friday at the Idaho Statehouse offered enthusiastic, unanimous support for a slate of proposed new science standards.

And for a second consecutive day, the House Education Committee took no action.

At issue is a politically charged controversy over the science standards that will be taught in Idaho’s K-12 public schools and charters.

In 2016, legislators quietly rejected a proposed slate of science standards after some lawmakers made comments about the age and history of the universe and global warming. At the time, legislators said more public input was needed, but they declined to accept public comment on the standards at the Statehouse that year.

Last year, in 2017, the Legislature approved a temporary slate of new science standards after first removing five paragraphs that reference climate change and human impact on the environment. Those standards are set to expire, which is why legislators are considering science standards again this year.

Public testimony ran 7-0 in favor of the full science standards Thursday, and 21-0 in favor of the standards Friday. During public hearings in 2017, public testimony ran 995-5 in favor of passing the full science standards, State Department of Education officials said.

Many of the teachers, students and scientists who testified this week said students deserve a full, well-rounded education rooted in inquiry-based science standards. Removing references to climate change, they said, would amount to censoring their education and would hurt their ability to confront the challenges of a changing planet in the future.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the standards this session.

Click here to read the full story in the Idaho Ed News  (Feb. 2, 2018)

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