Alabama public schools will see a change in their curriculum starting next year, after the Republican-controlled Alabama State Board of Education unanimously approved an overhaul of science standards last week. The move has reignited conversations surrounding how climate change and evolution are taught in Alabama classrooms. The new science standards dictate that students must learn about the effects of climate change, as well as the role humans have played in causing global warming. “We are asking our students to understand global climate change,” says Rick Steves, director of the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, though Steves adds, “we’re not telling them they have to believe it.” Meanwhile, the board of education is also considering removing disclaimer stickers that appear in most of Alabama’s biology textbooks. The stickers warn students against accepting evolution as fact and encourage them to think of evolution as just a theory, since “no one was present when life first appeared on earth.” A committee will meet in November to decide whether the stickers stay or go.
Contributor: Celeste Montaño