Bill Undermining Science Education Introduced in Oklahoma
On February 4, 2019, a bill (Senate Bill 14) aimed at “assist[ing] teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies” was introduced in the Oklahoma legislature. Senate Bill 14 would, if enacted, authorize teachers to present “the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories.” According to critics, this could undermine science education by allowing teachers to question proven scientific theories, particularly theories (wrongly) seen as controversial, such as evolution. In this regard, the National Center for Science Education has noted that, while “[n]o particular theories are identified as controversial” in Senate Bill 14, it uses similar language to bills introduced in past sessions that were “aimed specifically at evolution.”
On February 12, 2019, the Oklahoma Senate Committee on Education voted against Senate Bill 14. The bill will, therefore, not be subject to a vote by the full Senate.