Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 147–149

Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education: The OOPSIE Compromise—A Big Mistake

Curriculum Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12052-008-0038-7

Cite this article as:
Scott, E.C. & Branch, G. Evo Edu Outreach (2008) 1: 147. doi:10.1007/s12052-008-0038-7


Opt-out policies are typically invoked to excuse students from activities to which they or their parents may have religious objections, such as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, dissecting animals in a laboratory, or attending sex education classes. Occasionally, however, a school or school district allows students to opt out of academic topics, including, sometimes, evolution. Opt-out policies specifically including evolution are a big mistake—for the students who opt out, for their classmates whose studies are disrupted, and especially for their teachers, who cannot fulfill their duty to instruct their charges about biology without emphasizing evolution.


Evolution educationOpt-out policiesHatch AmendmentGrassley AmendmentProtection of Pupil Rights AmendmentTheodosius Dobzhansky

Copyright information

© National Center for Science Education 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Science EducationBerkeleyUSA