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ERIC Number: EJ796376
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
Do State Science Standards Matter?: Comparing Student Perceptions of the Coverage of Evolution in Indiana & Ohio Public High Schools
Bandoli, James H.
American Biology Teacher, v70 n4 p212-216 Apr 2008
In 2000, Lerner published a study sponsored by the Fordham Foundation comparing state standards regarding the teaching of evolution. He reviewed standards from 49 states and the District of Columbia, and graded the standards based on their treatment of evolution. Indiana and nine other states received a grade of A ("very good or excellent"), while 12 states, including Ohio, received a grade of F ("useless or absent"). The Indiana standards contained a specific section on evolution with explicit competencies in topics such as natural selection, adaptation, and evidence for evolutionary change. On the other hand, the Ohio standards had no section on evolution, and only a few competencies included evolutionary topics such as natural selection. The word "evolution" was not used in a biological context. The dramatic difference in the state standards in two neighboring states provided an opportunity to test the hypothesis that state standards influence curricula. In this article, the author discusses the results of a survey given to Indiana and Ohio high school students about their perceptions of the coverage of evolution in their schools. The results of the survey suggest that the coverage of evolution in public high schools in Indiana and Ohio is not influenced by state standards. Results also suggest that the treatment of evolution appears to be at odds with its importance as an explanatory principle. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
National Association of Biology Teachers. 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive #110, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-406-0775; Tel: 703-264-9696; Fax: 703-264-7778; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana; Ohio