UPDATE: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
The Kansas state school board has approved new science standards for public schools that treat both evolution and climate change as key concepts to be taught from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
The board voted 8-2 on Tuesday for standards developed by Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council.
The new guidelines are designed to shift the emphasis in science classes to doing hands-on projects and experiments and blending material about engineering and technology into lessons.
Past work on science standards in Kansas have been overshadowed by debates about how evolution should be taught. The latest standards were adopted in 2007 and treat evolution as a well-established, core scientific concept.
Kansas law requires academic standards to be updated at least once every seven years.
The Kansas State Board of Education's review of proposed science standards for public schools has become tangled in a larger debate about adopting multi-state academic guidelines.
The board's agenda Tuesday included a possible vote on the science standards drafted by Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council.
They treat both evolution and climate change as well-established scientific concepts to be taught starting in kindergarten. The new standards also emphasize hands-on projects.
The current, evolution-friendly standards were adopted in 2007, but state law requires them to be updated regularly. Past work on the guidelines have been shadowed by debates about evolution.
The board was hearing more than two hours of testimony on whether adopting Common Core math and science standards will be expensive and sacrifice local control of schools.