For the first time since 1996, educators have released major national guidelines for science in schools. The big news this time: They include a call for climate change education, potentially beginning in middle school, the New York Times reports. They also strongly urge schools to teach evolution. The Next Generation Science Standards, as they're known, are the result of collaboration between educators and 26 states. Though states don't have to follow the rules, 26 are "seriously considering" them, the Times notes.
"In the current situation the state standards are all over the map. It's a hodgepodge," an expert involved says. "We are still in a situation where across the country, basically in every state, students can still graduate from high school and in some cases go through college without learning the basics." Still, the completed guidelines are watered down from earlier drafts, the Guardian notes. The amount of material devoted to climate change has been cut by a third, and the final draft isn't as clear on human involvement in climate change: "It's buried at best," says an education leader.