A state-by-state comparison of middle school science standards on evolution in the United States

Vazquez, Bertha
July 2017
Evolution: Education & Outreach;7/17/2017, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
The focus of this study is a state-by-state comparison of middle school science standards on evolution in the United States. In 2009, Louise Mead and Anton Mates reviewed the high school science standards on evolution, giving each state a grade based on multiple factors including the number of times the word 'evolution' is mentioned, the types of evolution covered, and the inclusion of creationist jargon (Mead and Mates in Evol Educ Outreach 2:359, 2009). Their study was a replication of an earlier one completed in 2000 by Lawrence Lerner and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation (Lerner in Good science, bad science: teaching evolution in the states. Thomas Fordham Foundation, Washington, 2000). Mead and Mates indicated that, on average, the quality of the standards had increased over the decade between studies. This study concludes that this positive trend is now evident in the middle school science standards across the nation. We propose that early evolutionary education will be an excellent indicator of future acceptance of evolution across the United States and strongly encourage that evolution be introduced as the underlying theme of biology early in a student's academic career.


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