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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2015/02/27

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

The bill to unblock the NGSS in Wyoming is awaiting the governor's
signature. A Darwin Day resolution was filed in Pennsylvania, while in
Indiana the antiscience bill is dead. And NCSE is seeking two interns
for the summer.

BILL TO UNBLOCK NGSS PASSES WYOMING LEGISLATURE

The Wyoming House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on the
wording of a bill that will allow the state board of education to
adopt the Next Generation Science Standards,according to Wyoming
Public Media (February 26, 2015). Now enrolled, House Bill 23 proceeds
to Wyoming's governor Matt Mead for his signature.

As originally passed by the House, HB 23 would have allowed the state
to adopt the NGSS by repealing a footnote in the state budget for
2014-2016 that precluded the use of state funds for "any review or
adoption of the NGSS." The footnote was prompted by the NGSS's
treatment of climate change, as NCSE previously reported.

Before passing HB 23, however, the Senate amended it by adding, "The
state board of education may consider, discuss or modify the next
generation science standards, in addition to any other standards,
content or benchmarks as it may determine necessary, to develop
quality science standards that are unique to Wyoming."

It was feared that the uniqueness requirement in the Senate version
might be interpreted as precluding the adoption of the NGSS after all.
According to theCasper Star-Tribune (February 13, 2015), "Many around
the Capitol on Thursday were confused as to what [the provision's
author] intended with science standards that are 'unique to Wyoming.'"

The uniqueness requirement, rejected by the House, was replaced by the
conference committee with "The state board of education shall
independently examine and scrutinize any science standards proposed or
reviewed as a template in order to ensure that final standards adopted
for Wyoming schools promote excellence."

The new version of HB 23, which was subsequently approved by both
houses of the legislature, "would allow the state Board of Education
to review the Next Generation Science Standards, an enhanced version
of those standards or a different set of K-12 science standards,"
reported the Casper Star-Tribune (February 25, 2015).

For Wyoming's House Bill 23 as enrolled (PDF), visit:
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2015/Enroll/HB0023.pdf 

For the stories from Wyoming Public Media and the Casper Star-Tribune, visit:
http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/science-standards-bill-goes-governor 
http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/riverton-senator-amends-science-standards-repeal-prompting-concern-from-proponents/article_191b4118-88e0-57c7-9205-821e685bc879.html 
http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/lawmakers-reach-agreement-on-science-standards/article_9fb938c3-e334-5b1e-978b-68a41a58c712.html 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Wyoming, visit:
http://ncse.com/news/wyoming 

DARWIN DAY RESOLUTION IN PENNSYLVANIA

House Resolution 83, introduced in the Pennsylvania House of
Representatives on February 26, 2015, would, if enacted, express the
House's recognition of February 12, 2015, as Darwin Day in
Pennsylvania.

The resolution acknowledges the 206th anniversary of Charles Darwin's
birth, honors his discovery of natural selection, and the theory's
role as "the foundation for ongoing advances in science, health,
philosophy, art, education, and many other areas of modern life." It
also celebrates Darwin's "strength of character" and the "great
courage, wisdom and honesty required to explore and publish" his work
on evolution, and deems his birthday "an appropriate day on which to
celebrate and to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual
bravery, perpetual curiosity, and the hunger for truth, which
contribute to the well-being of all people."

Like H. Res. 67 and S. Res. 66, the Darwin Day resolutions in
Congress, and like Arizona's HR 2002, the resolution in Pennsylvania
covers only 2015. There are nineteen sponsors of the bill; Brian Sims
(D-District 182) and Mark B. Cohen (D-District 202) appear to have
taken the lead.

For information about Pennsylvania's House Resolution 83, visit:
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2015&sind=0&body=H&type=R&bn=83 

For information about the resolutions in Congress and Arizona, visit:
http://ncse.com/news/2015/02/darwin-day-resolution-congress-0016165 
http://ncse.com/news/2015/02/darwin-day-resolution-senate-0016176 
http://ncse.com/news/2015/02/darwin-day-resolution-arizona-0016180 

ANTISCIENCE BILL DIES IN INDIANA

Indiana's Senate Bill 562 died in the Senate Education and Career
Development Committee on February 25, 2015, when the deadline for
Senate bills to have their third reading in the Senate passed.

If enacted, SB 562 would, in effect, have allowed public school
teachers to miseducate their students about science -- and would have
prevented state and local educational authorities from intervening.

The only topic mentioned in the bill was human cloning, which
frequently appears alongside biological evolution and climate change
in such bills; SB 562 is, however, apparently the first such bill to
mention only human cloning.

The bill's sponsors were Jeff Raatz (R-District 27) and Dennis Kruse
(R-District 14). Kruse has a long history of sponsoring antievolution
legislation, including House Bill 1356 in 2000, House Bill 1323 in
2001, and Senate Bill 89 in 2012.

For information on Indiana's Senate Bill 562, visit:
https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/senate/562 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Indiana, visit:
http://ncse.com/news/indiana 

HELP WANTED: SUMMER INTERNS

NCSE is seeking to hire two summer interns -- one full-time, one
part-time -- to work on science education activism projects, with a
particular focus on climate change education. This is a unique
opportunity for someone with a science background to learn about
science advocacy to support one of the most important groups: science
teachers. These are temporary positions based in Oakland, California,
running from June to August 2015. Further information about duties,
qualifications, salary and benefits, and the application process is
available from NCSE's job page.

For further information about the positions, visit:
http://ncse.com/about/jobs#interns 

WHAT'S NEW FROM THE SCIENCE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

Have you been visiting NCSE's blog, The Science League of America,
recently? If not, then you've missed:

* Stephanie Keep debunking the misconception that evolution can stop:
http://ncse.com/blog/2015/02/misconception-monday-can-evolution-stop-0016202 

* Glenn Branch detecting something aukward about a recent critique of
"Darwinism":
http://ncse.com/blog/2015/02/aukward-truth-0016188 

* Minda Berbeco contemplating climate education in the wake of the
Willie Soon scandal:
http://ncse.com/blog/2015/02/why-we-care-willie-soon-0016203 

And much more besides!

For The Science League of America, visit:
http://ncse.com/blog 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website --
http://ncse.com -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.

--
Sincerely,

Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x303
fax: 510-601-7204
800-290-6006
branch@ncse.com 
http://ncse.com 

Check out NCSE's new blog, Science League of America:
http://ncse.com/blog 

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http://reports.ncse.com 

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