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DEVELOPING STORY — This story will be updated as new information becomes available.
SANTA FE, N.M. — A proposed overhaul of New Mexico’s state science standards for public schools came under intense criticism Monday at a packed public hearing in the state capital for omitting or deleting references to global warming, evolution and the age of the Earth.
Comments - Hearing - State - Revisions - Set
Comments at the hearing overwhelmingly sided against state revisions to a set of standards developed by a consortium of states and the National Academy of Sciences. Of the 55 initial speakers, none backed the standards.
Public school teachers, state university faculty, Democratic Party officials and the science chairman for a school catering to local Native American students urged the Public Education Department, led by a recent appointee of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, to throw out its proposed changes and adopt unedited standards.
William - Pockman - Professor - Chairman - Biology
William Pockman, a professor and chairman of the biology department at the University of New Mexico, said state revisions would put local students at a disadvantage in the study of genetics in medicine and solutions to climate change.
“They delete or diminish key concepts,” said Pockman, who turned in two like-minded letters signed by nearly 150 faculty members and academic department heads from the University of New Mexico. “Students trained to these standards may not be ready to keep up with their peers from states following more rigorous standards.”
Education - Secretary - Christopher - Ruszkowski - Hearing
Public Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski, who did not attend the hearing, wrote Sunday in a public letter that the customized standards will give teachers and families “flexibility and local control around science materials, curriculum and content.”
It was unclear how soon final standards will be adopted by the Public Education Department led by Ruszkowski, a former social studies teacher appointed in August to lead the agency.
Ruszkowski - Agency
Ruszkowski has said he and the agency developed...
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