Georgia students could graduate from high school without learning much about evolution, and may never even hear the word uttered in class.
New middle and high school science standards proposed by state Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox strike references to "evolution" and replace them with the term "biological changes over time," a revision critics say will further weaken learning in a critical subject.
Outraged teachers already have told the state it is undercutting the science education of young Georgians.
"Just like any major issue people need to deal with, you need to know the facts," said David Bechler, head of the biology department at Valdosta State University. A member of the committee that worked on the biology standards, Bechler said he was stunned to learn that evolution was not in the final proposal.