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Rep. Syme: Don’t care if students conclude earth is flat - as long as it’s their own conclusion

Rep. Scott Syme
Rep. Scott Syme

After this morning’s hearing on school science standards – which will continue tomorrow – Rep. Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, said he’s planning to propose a motion tomorrow to approve the standards with two sections removed – one of the five regarding climate change that lawmakers had removed last year, and one other. “There’s two that I don’t like, and they didn’t go far enough last year,” Syme said, when the state Department of Education, at lawmakers’ direction, revised the five sections. “They have conclusions drawn in.”

Syme said he’s “learned a lot about standards” between last year and this year, and his remaining concern is “they should be inquiry-based.” He added, “It was never about climate change.”

“I don’t care if the students come up with a conclusion that the earth is flat – as long as it’s their conclusion, not something that’s told to them,” Syme declared.

Meanwhile, Chris Taylor, science and social studies supervisor for the Boise School District and a member of the panel of teachers and others that’s worked on the science standards for the past three years, said after this morning’s hearing, “I feel good – I think they’re listening.”

Last year, he noted, lawmakers approved all but five of the 375 sections in the proposed new science standards. “But we do feel the last five need to be included,” Taylor said. “Climate science is something all students should get in our schooling system.”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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