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PED secretary-designate defends proposed science standard changes

Kassi Nelson
October 12, 2017 07:38 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Newly proposed science standards for New Mexico schools received backlash since they were released last month. Many are wondering who is behind the new standards.

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The Secretary-Designate for Public Education Christopher Ruszkowski spoke with KKOB Radio Thursday morning regarding some major concerns people have. He also gave a clue as to who influenced the controversial changes made to the national standards the PED said they’re looking to adopt.

"We have 89 districts. We have 100 charter schools. All of them have different values. I’m doing my best in my role, as you talked about Bob, to be respectful and reflective of all those values while still moving to higher standards,” Ruszkowski told KKOB host Bob Clark.

Ruszkowski defended the science proposals and said they reflect the values of different regions of the state.

"We need to allow for districts and charter schools to have the flexibility they need and the local control they need to do what they need to do for their own communities,” he said.

Local scientists have spoken out, saying the new standards deny human-caused climate change by referring to it as "temperature fluctuation." They also said it eliminates talk of evolution and the age of the Earth.

But Ruszkowski said the standards allow students to form their own opinions.

"If we’re going to build critical thinkers, we want to make sure we’re not imposing our values on our kids, that our kids are actually getting the chance to make up their minds for themselves,” Ruszkowski said.

The secretary-designate also said anyone who has an issue with the standards can make an appointment with him to discuss them.

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Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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