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Correction: Wyoming-Science story

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm •  Published: May 9, 2014
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — In a story May 8 about Wyoming science standards, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Paul Bruno reviewed the standards for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Bruno is not affiliated with the institute.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Wyoming is 1st state to reject science standards

Coal-producing state Wyoming declines new science standards with global warming components

By BOB MOEN

Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming, the nation's top coal-producing state, is the first to reject new K-12 science standards proposed by national education groups mainly because of global warming components.

The Wyoming Board of Education decided recently that the Next Generation Science Standards need more review after questions were raised about the treatment of man-made global warming.

Board President Ron Micheli said the review will look into whether "we can't get some standards that are Wyoming standards and standards we all can be proud of."

Others see the decision as a blow to science education in Wyoming.

"The science standards are acknowledged to be the best to prepare our kids for the future, and they are evidence based, peer reviewed, etc. Why would we want anything less for Wyoming?" Marguerite Herman, a proponent of the standards, said.

Twelve states have adopted the standards since they were released in April 2013 with the goal of improving science education, and Wyoming is the first to reject them, Chad Colby, spokesman for Achieve, one of the organizations that helped write the standards.

"The standards are what students should be expected to know at the end of each grade, but how a teacher teaches them is still up to the local districts and the states, and even the teachers in most cases," Colby said.

But the global warming and evolution components have created pushback around the country.

Amy Edmonds, of the Wyoming Liberty Group, said teaching "one view of what is not settled science about global warming" is just one of a number of problems with the standards.

"I think Wyoming can do far better," Edmonds said.

Wyoming produces almost 40 percent of the nation's coal, with much of it used by power plants to provide electricity around the nation. Minerals taxes on coal provided $1 billion to the state and local governments in 2012 and coal mining supports some 6,900 jobs in the state.

Burning coal to generate electricity produces large amounts of CO2, which is considered a heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. Most scientists recognize that man-made CO2 emissions contribute to global warming. However, the degree to which it can be blamed for global warming is in dispute among some scientists.

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