Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Rapid Evolution

What a sad state of affairs when a science teacher has to say this about her fellow teachers:

They need to feel they have permission to teach science.
What other subject could that be but evolution? Unfortunately, Kansas is not the only place this conversation can be had but some relief may be on the way soon..
A new majority on the state school board is moving more quickly than anticipated to rewrite anti-evolution science standards adopted less than two years ago.

The board decided Tuesday to put the science standards on its agenda later in the day, a move that would allow the board to take a final vote next month.
This is a welcome change from the previous indications from the new majority that the change might take at least several months. It appears that the swift action is the result of the dedication and good sense of the original committee in completing the work on good biology standards even after it was short-circuited by the previous anti-science majority:

Sue Gamble, a Shawnee Republican who wants to rewrite the standards, said quick action is possible because a committee of educators worked on a proposal even after the conservative-led board adopted its version.

"We can take action next month," she said. "Local districts deserve to have high-quality education standards from which to build their local curriculums."
In addition to the above quote from Charlotte McDonald, a science specialist in the Blue Valley school district, whose husband unsuccessfully sought to unseat one of the board’s conservatives in the 2006 primary, there was this from Fred Kaufman, a school district superintendent:

I guess if it were up to me, I would leave that in the hands of the science teachers and the experts in science. It would behoove us all to remember that other people have opinions, and recognize them as honorable and worthwhile and not put them down, but to leave the teaching of science to science teachers.
A school subject designed and taught by experts in the field? What a radical thought!

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