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ERIC Number: EJ973207
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Undermining Evolution: Where State Standards Go Wrong
American Educator, v36 n2 p18-19, 40 Sum 2012
While many states are handling evolution better today than in the past, anti-evolution pressures continue to threaten state science standards. In April 2012, for example, Tennessee passed a law that enables teachers to bring anti-evolution materials into the classroom without being challenged by administrators. This law is similar to the Science Education Act passed in June 2008 in Louisiana, which is ostensibly an "academic freedoms act" meant to give teachers and students legal cover to debate the merits and veracity of scientific theories. In practice, such measures push a pro-creationist agenda--and give cover to those looking to teach intelligent design creationism. Though both acts are freestanding statutes with no direct link to the states' academic standards, they do damage by allowing for the introduction of creationist teaching supplements--thereby affecting classroom instruction. Tennessee and Louisiana are not the only states that have tried to undermine the teaching of evolution through legislation. Other states have undermined the teaching of evolution by singling it out as somehow not quite as "scientific" as other concepts of similar breadth. A common technique--used to a greater or lesser extent by Colorado, Missouri, Montana, and West Virginia--is to direct students to study its "strengths and weaknesses." Even some of the nation's best standards subtly undermine the teaching of evolution. (Contains 4 endnotes.)
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Louisiana; Missouri; Montana; Tennessee; West Virginia