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Wyoming halts work on science education standards
First Published Jul 02 2014 06:58 pm • Last Updated Jul 02 2014 09:47 pm

Rawlins, Wyo. » The Wyoming Board of Education voted to suspend work on new science standards for the state’s public schools until lawmakers rescind a ban on adopting education guidelines that endorse the theory of man-made climate change.

The board approved the resolution 10-1 on Tuesday because its members took offense at how lawmakers got involved in the issue, board member Pete Gosar said.

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"In my opinion, when you remove the best standards from the realm of possibility for new science standards, you’re going to make an inferior product," Gosar, a Democratic candidate for governor, told the Casper Star-Tribune.

State educators had been working on developing new science standards for a year and a half before the Legislature intervened, Gosar said.

The vote implements science standards that Wyoming adopted in 2008, the newspaper reported.

Last winter, the Legislature and Gov. Matt Mead approved a budget containing a footnote that prohibits Wyoming from adopting the Next Generation Science Standards. Wyoming was the first state to reject the guidelines.

The legislation prompted state education officials to begin developing new science standards. But board member Walt Wilcox, an associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Natrona County schools, said people developing new standards would have difficulty not referring to the Next Generation Science Standards.

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