New standards taking effect next year say students are required to understand the principles of evolution. School board member Betty Peters of Dothan says that's not much of a change. She says that's because public schools have been teaching evolutionary theory for years. The new standards also provide room for more instruction about climate change, but students aren't required to believe in that or evolution. They'll just learn about the science behind both topics. Board member Stephanie Bell says the new standards state that evolution is only a theory and not a fact. Alabama is updating its statewide standards for public schools for the first time since 2005.