April 07, 2014
Leading science and education groups call on Wyoming State Board of Education to resist political interference, adopt Next Generation Science Standards
CONTACT: Daniel Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-501-1779
Casper, WY – Leading science and education organizations sent a letter to the Wyoming State Board of Education urging it to resist legislative interference in its job of selecting the highest quality science standards for Wyoming students. Last month Wyoming’s Legislature passed a budget bill that restricts funding for education standards that include information about climate change.
The letter, signed by groups including the Wyoming Science Teachers Association, American Meteorological Society, Wyoming Education Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and hundreds of Wyoming teachers and science supporters, calls on the Board to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at its meeting in Casper on April 11.
The letter was also printed in a full page ad in Wyoming’s largest newspaper, the Casper Star Tribune. The pdf can be found at www.climateparents.org/ngss-letter.
The letter was drafted in response to a Wyoming budget amendment that prohibits the State Board of Education from spending funds to adopt, or even review, NGSS in the coming budget year, which begins July 1, due to the inclusion of climate science content in the standards.
The Board is not prohibited by the legislation from taking action in this budget year on the standards, which were unanimously recommended for adoption by a 30-member committee of Wyoming teachers and scientists. The Board rejected a motion to set aside Next Generation Science Standards and start from scratch at its March 24 meeting after receiving a petition signed by nearly 13,000 NGSS and climate science supporters, along with hundreds of email messages.
The letter states, “We urge the board to put legislative politics aside and carry out your duty to adopt 21st-century standards written by scientists and educators with the best interests of students in mind. The board should take action at its upcoming meeting based on the recommendation of Wyoming scientists and science educators to adopt the NGSS or equally rigorous standards that include uncensored climate science content… we are counting on the board to fulfill its statutory obligation to make the right choice for Wyoming students.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were developed by leading science organizations in conjunction with 26 states, and have widespread support among educators. The new science standards were designed by and for science educators to provide high quality science education that engenders critical thinking skills and get students excited about learning and practicing science through a hands-on approach. The standards include climate science education for middle school and high school students.
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