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House panel partially adopts science education standards

"Teachers want us to trust them and to allow them to teach…"

Idaho Capitol Building

Credit: Contributed photo
Idaho Capitol Building

— The Idaho House Education Committee voted 12-4 Feb. 7 to partially adopt new science standards, removing one section on climate change and earth science and removing all supporting content in the science standards.

The other science standards were approved.

Rep. Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, made the motion to remove all supporting content standards, which set minimum content standards for enforcement at Idaho K-12 schools. He also moved to remove a section that referenced negative environmental and biological impacts from deforestation, dams and air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels.

One of the motion’s supporters, Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, said it would allow for more freedom for teachers to teach.

“Teachers want us to trust them and to allow them to teach… No one is preventing the content that has been presented being used,” she said.

All three of the committee’s Democrats voted against the proposal, along with Republican Rep. Patrick McDonald, the committee’s vice chair.

In opposing the removal of the supporting content standards, Rep. John McCrostie, D-Garden City, said they would provide teachers the tools to be successful.

“Let’s please take away the guessing game. Let’s give them something they can actually do,” he said.

The Senate Education Committee also needs to consider the standards. No hearing has yet been scheduled.

– Kyle Pfannenstiel covers the 2018 Idaho Legislature for the University of Idaho McClure Center for Public Policy Research.


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