- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Utah school board has approved new middle schools science standards despite criticism from people who object to the treatment of topics like climate change and evolution.

The school board voted 11-4 Friday to approve the new standards, which place a greater emphasis on engineering and problem-solving. Public schools across Utah will use them in 2018.

Some critics said the standards are modeled too closely after benchmarks created by national experts, and should treat some topics as theory rather than fact.

The Deseret News reports board member Joel Wright said he opposed the standards because he felt the benchmarks should be set by local districts and schools.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that board member Stan Lockhart voted in favor, but said he is religious and objects to some elements of the science standards.

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