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House panel OKs ‘critical thinking’ science education bills

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OKLAHOMA CITY –  A bill that supporters say will help Oklahoma science students “develop critical thinking skills” has narrowly passed a state House committee after opponents said it’s unnecessary and allows political and ideological interference in students’ education.

Opponents say past efforts to introduce similar legislation were an attempt to introduce students to creationism or objections to evolution and climate science.

The House General Government Oversight and Accountability Committee voted 4-3 Thursday to send the Senate-passed bill to the House floor for a vote.

The measure’s sponsor, Republican Rep. David Brumbaugh of Broken Arrow, says it will encourage students to explore scientific questions and learn about scientific evidence.

But Dr. Elizabeth Allan, a biology professor, says educators are concerned the bill will not prepare students to be competitive.