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Albuquerque School Board Opposes State Education Proposal

Oct 11, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The board for New Mexico's largest school district is opposing the state's proposed changes to science teaching standards that substitute references to rising global temperatures and climate change with statements about climate "fluctuations."

The policy committee of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education on Tuesday voted in favor of sending a letter to the Public Education Department criticizing the proposal, the Albuquerque Journal reported .

The Public Education Department has suggested several custom additions and deletions as it moves forward with adopting a set of science standards developed by a consortium of states and the National Academy of Sciences. The state's proposal also omits references to evolution and the age of Earth.

Board member Barbara Petersen said the letter will show teachers that they have support to "teach real science" because educators sometimes face resistance to teaching evolution.

The vote on the matter was not unanimous. Board member Peggy Muller-Aragon was the sole dissenter, and she voiced support for the proposed changes. She said the district should focus on the positive and not be adversarial.

"I have looked and thought these look good to me because they kind of leave things a little bit open for the other side," Muller-Aragon said.

Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski said the department is open to feedback and the proposed changes are not set in stone.

"I think it is incumbent on us to have a very hard look at all the feedback that comes in — both in terms of the standards themselves and in terms of the roll-out and the implementation and the resources and the partnership," Ruszkowski said.