Back in March of 2015, science teachers in Idaho met to discuss some changes to the science standards of the state. Namely, the Associated Press and Idaho Education News report, the teachers wanted to include "several references to the age of the earth, the creation of the universe and climate change," which apparently currently do not exist. Seems like a pretty simple change, right?
Evidently, it is not so simple. First, in a meeting with the House Education Committee, the rule was rejected. Republican Reed DeMordaunt argued that more public input was needed before an acceptance of the rule. While the contents of the rule were hardly discussed, another Republican legislator was pretty angry the standards included such strong language about, uh, human activities "significantly" altering the biosphere.
“Significantly?” Lance Clow said, according to an Idaho Education News report. “Compared to what?…I think you could write standards without using some of that terminology and still have appropriate science standards.”
Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee followed the House Education Committee's lead and rejected the standards on essentially the same basis: there just wasn't enough time to talk to the public about the standards. (As the AP points out, the State Board of Education approved the rules six months ago, in August.)
"This is a controversial rule, we believe it is possible to involve more citizens," Tim Corder, a Republican, told the AP. "Give us the chance to follow a process that satisfies the people of Idaho."
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.