Kansas Science Standards

A Federal Judge dismissed a lawsuit against Kansas’ educational science standards because challengers “did not claim specific enough injuries” to sustain.

On Tuesday, December 2, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled to dismiss a lawsuit that alleged science standards for Kansas schools encourage atheism and violate their religious freedoms. He stated that the opposition did not present examples of how they were directly harmed by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curriculum. These standards were created by Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council.

The guidelines for the NGSS curriculum replaced the previous evolution-friendly standards with a majority of the State Board of Education hoping to improve science education by transitioning the curriculum to hands-on projects and experiments. The guidelines treat evolution and climate change as key scientific concepts to be taught from Kindergarten to 12th grade.

The lawsuit was filed by the Citizens for Objective Public Education group. They called the standards an “attempt to indoctrinate students into a non-theistic world view”, adding that the message was one of endorsement, making others feel like outsiders. However, Judge Daniel Crabtree stated that an “abstract stigmatic injury” wasn’t enough to keep the lawsuit alive. The guidelines, he said, left local school districts the power to choose their curriculums.

Science Standards’ Struggles Continue In Wyoming

Wyoming is a state divided over their rejection of the NGSS curriculum, which is meant to go worldwide. They were the first to reject imposing the new science standards on all their public schools, choosing to attach a provision to the 2013 state budget that banned NGSS at a state-level and allowed schools to choose their science curriculum. Currently, a third of their school districts are phasing NGSS into their science standards.

Opponents consider the NGSS change a “climate-change indoctrination in the standards rather than objective science”, while others found their approach to evolution a promotion for atheism. Surprisingly,  the Wyoming Association of Churches, a group composed of 10 Protestant denominations, have cast their favor toward NGSS.

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