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Table 1 Grades and general comments for treatment of evolution in state science standards

From: Why Science Standards are Important to a Strong Science Curriculum and How States Measure Up

State Grade Lerner (2000) Current Grade 2009 Description and/or general comments.
Alabama F F General coverage of evolution is poor. Evolution disclaimer in the Preface
Alaska D D Treatment of biological evolution is adequate. Human evolution is not covered, nor is the connection between biological, geological and cosmological evolution
Arizona B B Direct treatment of evolution does not occur until high school and human evolution is not covered
Arkansas D C Improved treatment of biological evolution. No coverage of human evolution. No earth or space science at all at the high school level
California A A Comprehensive treatment of evolution. Human evolution is presented in 6th grade social studies
Colorado B B Discussion of evolution is good (but see Part II: Colorado for more details). No mention of Big Bang
Connecticut A D Human evolution has been dropped. Despite specific reference to evolution in PreK-8 framework, there is no mention of age of the earth, fossils, Big Bang theory, plate tectonics, etc.
Delaware A B Good treatment of evolution. No explicit reference to human evolution. Some language is vulnerable to exploitation or misinterpretation. (e.g., A recurring “Essential Question” in the “Earth in Space” standard is, “Is there an order to the Universe? Explain.”)
Dist. Of Columbia B A Treatment of evolution has improved; human evolution is explicit
Florida F A Greatly improved
Georgia F C Human evolution mentioned in the Anatomy and Physiology standards, but not in the life science standards
Hawaii A C Wording in the Earth and Space Science standards includes creationist jargon
Idaho B B Human evolution is not covered. “Understand the Theory of Biological Evolution” assessed as “Describe how natural selection explains species change over time” and does not include any reference to common ancestry
Illinois D B Review included evaluation of descriptors – which now include the word “Evolution”. No explicit reference to specific geological and cosmological evolution terms, although concepts covered
Indiana A A Good
Iowa   C Iowa Core Curriculum is new. 2008 legislation requires all school districts to implement Iowa Score Curriculum by 2012 for grades 9–12 and 2014–2015 for K-8
Kansas F- A After various battles with the state school board, standards have improved immensely
Kentucky D D E-word used minimally; some biological evolution covered; no human evolution. Cosmology very limited
Louisiana C F Louisiana Science Education Act includes creationist jargon and disclaimers which nullify much of the science standards in reference to evolution
Maine F C Adequate treatment of basic biological evolution; no human evolution; minimal treatment of geological, cosmological and historical interfaces—e.g. plate tectonics not mentioned until high school
Maryland C C No human evolution. Discussion of cosmology in earth and space standards lacking
Massachusetts B B Mention of human evolution is disguised. Discussion of cosmological evolution does not occur until high school
Michigan B B Cosmology and historical connection could be stronger
Minnesota B B Generally good, however, standards continue to contain passage originally intended to forestall creationist objections
Mississippi F B Evaluated 2010 Science Framework, revised 2008. Clear improvement over previous versions
Missouri B C No human evolution. Students are expected to be able to “identify and analyze theories that are currently being questioned, and compare them to new theories that have emerged to challenge the older ones.” The practice of exposing students to unresolved questions in modern science is a worthy one, but care must be taken that the topics covered do in fact represent legitimate areas of current scientific debate, and that this debate be at least somewhat comprehensible to students at the high school level
Montana B C No human evolution. Historical connection is lacking
Nebraska C C Weak on evolution; includes creationist jargon- the word “theory” is used only in relation to biological evolution
Nevada C C No human evolution
New Hampshire F A Improved treatment of evolution; human evolution included
New Jersey A A Thorough and explicit treatment of evolution
New Mexico C A Good across the board
New York C C No revision since 1996. Lerner 2000 indicated some unintentional creationist jargon
North Carolina A B Treatment of both biological and human evolution is good. Inadvertent use of evolution-weakening terminology (i.e. change over time) in middle school
North Dakota F C Improved. Discusses both geological and cosmological evolution explicitly in high school
Ohio F B Generally good
Oklahoma F F The word “evolution” is never used
Oregon B B No human evolution
Pennsylvania A A Good across the board
Rhode Island A B Generally good. Geological evolution and cosmology could be introduced earlier
South Carolina A A Very limited coverage of human evolution
South Dakota B C Adequate treatment of biological evolution. No human evolution
Tennessee F D Improved treatment of evolution. No human evolution
Texas C F Generally comprehensive except for creationist jargon
Utah B B No human evolution
Vermont B B Good treatment of biological evolution. No human evolution
Virginia D C No human evolution
Washington B B Explicit mention of cosmological evolution by high school
West Virginia F F Improvement on treatment of biological evolution. No human evolution.
Wisconsin D D Offer only performance standards for grades 4, 8, and 12 and clear standards are lacking
Wyoming F D Improved presentation of biological evolution. No human evolution