In 2013, 26 states joined together to create national education science standards to ensure that students were learning the latest research and more prepared to address 21st-century challenges. Now, in the final months of her administration, Governor Martinez’s public education department is poised to join that list, with some very notable edits to the curriculum: deleting any mention of climate change and evolution.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the New Mexico Education Department rolled out the new proposed teaching standards last week but the national science standards had been changed to remove mentions of science conservative activists and oil and gas companies have opposed elsewhere:
The standards are based on a science curriculum called the Next Generation Science Standards proposed in 2013 by a consortium of 26 states. But the New Mexico plan contains additions and deletions from the nationwide standards.
Among those changes, the proposal would eliminate a reference to Earth’s “4.6 billion year history” and replaced it with “geologic history” in the middle-school curriculum.
It also omits a reference to a “rise in global temperatures” and replaces it with “fluctuations” in temperature.
A physicist and former President of the New Mexico Academy of Science had this to say about the proposed curriculum:
“I’m certainly not going to move a high-tech company here, because I’m not going to get a scientifically educated population,” said Kim Johnson, a physicist and former president of the New Mexico Academy of Science.
The Martinez-era edits are more extensive than those recommended by the Texas Board of Education a few years ago. That prompted national outrage (and plenty of social media embarrassment) when they proposed minor edits to those same sections.
Notably, the proposals to eliminate climate change science comes as the Martinez administration is making its last marks on New Mexico public policy. Last month, a state board rejected a public petition to reinstate greenhouse gas emission regulations in New Mexico.
New Mexico recorded 391 consecutive months of warmer-than-average temperatures, a report in the NM Political Report recently noted.
New Mexico simply cannot afford to sacrifice the opportunities of our children and their futures, while at the same time eliminating the access to industry and information that have the potential to produce jobs, help protect our planet, and preserve our surroundings for more than our time spent on this big ball we call Earth.
What do you think? Do you support discussions about climate change and evolution in our public schools?
If so, we have a couple of ways you can engage and be heard.
- Do you have a background in education? Science? Send a Letter to the Editor – tell the ABQ Journal what you think about the editing of global warming and evolution from textbooks and classrooms.
- SPEAK UP (50 words or Less) – Chime in on your opinion in a shorter and more convenient manner – quick, easy, and to the point, let’s fill the Speak Up section of the Journal with opinions about the removal of language regarding evolution and climate change in our NM public schools.