"In the last turn of events, 3 members of the Board rewrote the standards to produce a "compromise" document. While not including the more objectionable parts of the alternate proposal, it still eliminated the theory of evolution as a model for understanding the history and diversity of life. Furthermore it does not mention cosmology (Big Bang) or the Age of the Earth. It also includes errors of fact and misrepresentations of scientific methodology and content. This version passed the Board on August 12th by a 6 to 4 vote. The original standards document written and unanimously endorsed by the appointed committee was not even brought to a vote. This decision was made in opposition to the recommendations of virtually every scientific and educational body in the state. The Governor of Kansas and all of the presidents of the regents institutions (state universities) appealed to the Board to reject the alternate document. The academic and educational communities are very irritated by the current situation.
"The new science standards do not require or mandate teachers to teach anything. They certainly do not mandate the inclusion of creationism. What they do is establish the content of statewide assessment tests, and thus serve as recommendations for which topics and principles should be emphasized at each grade level from K-12. Teachers and local school boards are free to establish their own curricula. However the exclusion of evolutionary theory as an explanatory framework for the history of life and as a unifying concept in the biological sciences, the exclusion of theories of the origin of the universe (Big Bang model of cosmology), and the removal of references to a very ancient Earth history from the standards have significant implications. These omissions are critical, and remove the core unifying concepts from the sciences of biology, geology, and astronomy. Since they will not be subject to state assessment tests, these concepts are much less likely to be taught in districts where there is vocal opposition. By throwing the issue to "local control" the state board leaves teachers much more vulnerable to complaints by parents or administrators eager to avoid controversy. Furthermore, the decision is already having an impact on textbook publishers. Since the decision, one publisher has removed an introductory chapter on the geologic history of Kansas from a history textbook for fear that it would limit sales."
Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Well, of course you would be against local control. What would the world come to if Freepers believed they should have local control of their government bodies and taxes? Perish the thought. /sarc