After a national outcry, the West Virginia school board on Wednesday removed language from the state’s science education standards that cast doubt on the science behind climate change, according to the Charleston Gazette.
The state school board adopted the National Next Generation Science Standards blueprint in December, but altered a portion of the standards following a request from board member Wade Linger.
“There was a question in there that said: ‘Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century,'” Linger told the Charleston Gazette in December. “If you have that as a standard, then that presupposes that global temperatures have risen over the past century, and, of course, there’s debate about that.”
According to National Journal, the original line in the standards reads:
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
And the school board edited the passage to read:
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise and fall in global temperatures over the past century.
The school board also edited several additional passages in a similar manner, according to National Journal.
Numerous education and climate change groups opposed the edits to the standards.
West Virginia Science Teachers Association criticized the edited standards in a Saturday statement, according to the Charleston Gazette.
“The science was compromised by these modifications to the standards, specifically by casting doubt on the credibility of the evidence-based climate models and misrepresentation of trends in science when analyzing graphs dealing with temperature changes over time,” the statement reads.
Members of the climate education group Climate Parents delivered petitions to the board meeting, calling on the state to reverse the edits to the standards, according to ThinkProgress.
Due to the backlash from parents, teachers, and climate change groups, the board then voted on Wednesday to reverse the changes it made to the standards in December.
Only two board members, including Linger, voted against returning to the original National Next Generation Science Standards.
The board opened the standards to public comment and will take a final vote in March.