New Mexico PED to revise proposed science standards in response to backlash

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – After heated discussions, the state’s Public Education Departments says it will rewrite the controversial proposed science standards.

Monday, hundreds of educators, students, scientists and clergy packed a PED public comment hearing in Santa Fe. They voiced their concerns over what describe as a politically driven, flawed curriculum.

Many say the issue with New Mexico’s new secretary of education Christopher Ruszkowski’s  proposed changes to curriculum, were the “Stem Ready Standards” challenged evolution, ignored climate change, and questioned the age of the earth.

The final standards were laid out in a statement Tuesday evening. Ruszkowski said like that “many states that have adopted higher standards have made adjustments based upon input from their communities.  New Mexico is no different.”

The changes now include for middle school an explanation of the earth’s age of 4.6 billion years old based on scientific rock evidence.

A standard phrased as “ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.”

For high school standards, an explanation of the process of evolution based on four factors. Also an analysis of data from global climate models to forecast the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to earth’s systems.

Senator William Soules from Las Cruces tweeted about the announcement saying while evolution, earth’s age and climate change will be part of the standards, they still contain corporate wording.

Read the full statement below:

The New Mexico Stem-Ready Science proposal discussed this past month was built considering standards adopted in other states as well as input from New Mexicans. Many states that have adopted higher standards have made adjustments based upon input from their communities.  New Mexico is no different.

Similar to the process in other states, our goal in holding a public hearing is to ensure all those who wanted to discuss these proposed standards would be heard. We have listened to the thoughtful input received and will incorporate many of the suggestions into the New Mexico Standards.


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