Coal-producing Wyoming becomes first state to reject climate school lessons

Coal-producing Wyoming becomes first state to reject climate school lessons

Coal mine in Wyoming, US.

United States’ top coal-producing Wyoming has become the first state to ­reject a new science curriculum proposed by ­national education groups, largely because it regarded man-made climate change as a likely possibility.

According to Climate Parents, an environmental group with 38,000 active members, the Wyoming Board of Education decision of reviewing the Next Generation Science Standards, a multi-state effort to improve science education, authorities are choosing “coal over kids.”

“The Board of Education could push back against political meddling and assert its authority over setting science standards, but it will take an outcry from parents and science supporters from Wyoming and throughout the country,” the group’s website reads.

For Amy Edmonds, policy analyst for the Wyoming Liberty Group, the board decision was the right one. “The Next Generation Science Standards are just inferior standards for the state of Wyoming,” she told the Laramie Boomerang last month, citing an analysis by a conservative think tank that gave the standards a “C” rating.

But NGSS proponents claim that can’t be further from the truth. "The science standards are acknowledged to be the best to prepare our kids for the future, and they are evidence based, peer reviewed, etc. Why would we want anything less for Wyoming?" said Marguerite Herman, a proponent of the standards, according to AP.

Wyoming’s current science standards haven’t been updated since 2003, but new guidelines were approved last month in three other areas: social studies, physical education and career & vocational education.

According to data from Wyoming Geological Survey, the state accounts for almost 40% of all the US coal production. The sector supports about 6,900 jobs in the state and it is its second largest source of revenue, contributing over $1 billion in 2012.

Image source: Bureau of Land and Management /Wikimedia Commons