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Science Class Standards

A group of education policy experts from a number of states have issued a new set of science standards that students should be expected to have mastered before they head to college that were crafted to help them better understand the nature of science, and core concepts across the scientific disciplines.

It is not required that states adopt these Next Generation Science Standards, but the 26 states involved in the project have committed to "seriously considering the guidelines," according to the New York Times.

The standards will requires that teachers educate children about both climate evolution and climate change, which are common hot-button issues among some groups that seek to influence education policy, and school boards in some states and counties.

These guidelines "take a firm stand" on the teaching of evolution as "the central organizing idea in the biological sciences for more than a century, but one that still provokes backlash among some religious conservatives," according to the Times.

The new standards include sets of core ideas in the life sciences and other disciplines that the students are to have learned between kindergarten and second grade, and between grades three through five, six through eight, and on before their senior years.

According to the Times, educators who were involved in developing the new standards said they were created to help "combat widespread scientific ignorance," as well as to inspire students to want to pursue science education further, and to harmonize standards among states.