Revised Ohio Bill still guts science education, adds 'strengths and weaknesses' language

The authors of House Bill 597, which is aimed at derailing the Common Core standards in Ohio, have revised it (PDF). (Columbus Dispatch story here). Their revisions now embody the ‘strength and weaknesses’ trope of creationists. The Bill now says

(iii) The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics; incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and encourage students to analyze, critique, and review, in an objective manner, the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the standards.

Creationism, here we come. Wikipedia has a review of the ‘strengths and weaknesses’ ploy when it is aimed directly at evolution. The revised Bill generalizes it to ‘existing scientific theories,’ but that’s merely camouflage.

The Bill goes on to claim that

Nothing in division (A)(1) of this section shall be construed to promote any religious or nonreligious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or nonbeliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.

That’s a plain attempt to shield the Bill from Constitutional scrutiny. But the Bill sets up a Dover trap, and some poor school district in Ohio will walk right into that trap, to its legal and financial cost.

Further, the revised Bill retains without change the evisceration of science education I described a few days ago. The ‘no scientific processes’ language would gut science education in Ohio.