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Science and Innovations

British Teachers Rebuke Arizona for Treatment of Evolution

Melissa Sevigny

An association of British science teachers sent a letter of rebuke to the Arizona Department of Education for its controversial attitude toward evolution. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

The letteris from the United Kingdom’s Association for Science Education. It condemns changes made to a draft of the Arizona Science Standards that water down the idea of evolution.

The Science Standards are undergoing their first revision in more than a decade. They outline fourteen “big ideas” to teach to K through 12 students. Those ideas were adopted from a British document, and one of them states the diversity of organisms is the result of evolution.

British teachers who were involved in writing those ideas reproached Arizona for weakening the language. The letter says the revisions were clearly meant to compromise scientific accuracy, and to license Arizona science teachers to “miseducate” their students.

The draft Science Standards are available for public comment until Monday.

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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