Florida — Florida's public school science standards for the first time will use the word "evolution," although the biological concept already was being taught under code words such as "change over time."
The new standards, part of a set of overall science changes adopted by the State Board of Education on Tuesday on a 4-3 vote, require schools to spend more class time on evolution and teach it in more detail.
The standards state that evolution is "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence." That statement rankled opponents, some of whom had urged the board to add an academic freedom provision that would have allowed teachers to "engage students in a critical analysis of that evidence."
As a compromise, the standards refer to evolution as a scientific theory, explaining that a theory is a well-supported and accepted explanation of nature, not simply a claim.