Public schools are doing a better job teaching evolution, a new report indicates.

The survey, conducted by Eric Plutzer at Penn State and commissioned by the National Center for Science Education, underscores improvements public schools have made in the last decade to boost education in this area.

When Plutzer surveyed teachers in 2007, he found that “only about one in three public high school biology teachers presented evolution consistently with the recommendations of the nation’s leading scientific authorities.” The 2007 data also showed that “13% of teachers emphasized to their students that creationism was a valid scientific alternative to modern evolutionary biology.” 

But Plutzer’s 2019 survey found “substantial reductions in overtly creationist instruction and in the number of teachers who send mixed messages that legitimate creationism as a valid scientific alternative to evolutionary biology.”  

The 2019 survey analyzed data from 752 public high school biology teachers. It found that over the last decade, teachers as a whole are spending more time teaching evolution. In 2007, the average amount of time spent on evolution was 9.8 hours, and in 2019 it was 12.4 hours (an increase of 25 percent). In addition, in 2007, 51 percent of high school biology teachers “emphasized the consensus on evolution while giving no credence to creationism.” By 2019, these numbers rose to 67 percent.

BREAKING NEWS

Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.


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