This time of year, many of Indiana’s educators are working to grade their students’ academic performance. But this time it’s the Indiana educational system receiving a grade.
And the news isn’t good. We just barely squeaked by, with a “D.”
A recent report by the National Center for Science Education, one of the nation’s leading science education organizations, has evaluated each state’s science standards and considered the treatment of climate change science, considering key points that draw from scientific consensus on the issue.
The report indicated that “Indiana earned a D, just barely escaping an overall failing grade. The state’s approach to educating Hoosier students about the reality and severity of climate change is abysmal.”
As with our grading of students’ academic performance, the NCSE assessed 10 different criteria to come to its overall summary of our state’s standards. Sadly, they came to the conclusion that Indiana deserves a failing grade in at least seven of the 10 categories, and barely squeaked by with a passing grade in the other three.
One reviewer stated, “I must say the standards do not meet the needs of Indiana students in the process of learning their foundational understanding of the world they are inheriting and the promising careers and opportunities that are available to them; this is a disservice to them.”
The reasons for this grade? One was a choice that Indiana made several years ago — in contrast to nearly half of the country — to take a pass on adopting the national “Next Generation Science Standards”, which explicitly addresses climate change.
Indiana’s grade sharply contrasts with the grades of our bordering states of Kentucky (B+), Michigan (B+), and Illinois (B+), all of which adopted those standards.
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