ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New standards in science are going to be implemented for New York students this school year, especially when it comes to climate change.
A lot of emphasis has been placed in schools on updating Common Core, math and English. But science hasn’t been updated in over 20 years.
“It’s been a long time since the science standards have been updated,” NYS School Board Assoc. Communications Dir. David Albert said. “It’s been 21 years.”
Effective this year, Albert said a new set of science standards have been adopted by the state education department that places an emphasis on climate change.
In previous years, climate change had only been broadly addressed in many schools such as pointing out the changing physical environment. But now, the standards will be a bit different.
“Now, it’s very specific,” he said. “The new standards require students to study the topic of climate change and the contributions that humans make toward climate change.”
Albert said the reason the new standards had to be included was because some believe climate change to be controversial or political. So the role humans play in climate change would be left out of the curriculum in some schools or be more based off the teacher’s views.
“Our suggestion to school board members, school leaders, teachers is to focus on the data and let students come to their own conclusions,” he said.
However, teachers are not the only ones divided on the subject of climate change.
According to a survey released by the New York State School Board Association, 70 percent of school board members statewide support teaching climate change in schools while 16 percent oppose and 14 percent are unsure.
“They should know it’s a science related subject, so it should be taught,” parent Tom Sheedy said.
Some schools have already implemented climate change projects into their curriculum, so the new standards will encourage other schools to find their own way to address the subject.