A resolution passed by the Portland, Oregon, school board will eliminate words like “may,” “might” and “could” from the district’s curriculum. But it’s not English lessons where these words will cease to appear; rather, it’s in science classes, in the context of climate change and its causes.
Last week, the Portland Public School board unanimously passed a resolution which directs schools to “abandon the use of any adopted text material that is found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.”
The resolution broadly calls for all Portland schools to “develop an implementation plan for climate literacy.”
“What we’re looking for is a whole different model of curriculum development and distribution,” Bill Bigelow, a former teacher for Portland Public Schools and current curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, told the Portland Tribune.
“A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt,” he added.
Bigelow quoted a textbook, Physical Science, published by Pearson: “Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming.”
“Obviously, the science says otherwise,” he told the Tribune.
The PPS resolution was introduced by school board member Mike Rosen, who leads NW Ecoliteracy Collaborative, a project focused on environmental curriculum standards.