Kansas School Board Undermines Science Standards (Again)

But sweep of Dover, PA school board should put them on notice

The Kansas state board of education has once again sacrificed the education of the state’s students in order to satisfy the demands of the Radical Right, said People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas. The state school board voted 6-4 on Tuesday to modify the state’s standards on science education, which serve as the basis for state science tests and as a blueprint for local school district curricula.

The activist six-member majority modified the very definition of “science” in order to open the door to non-natural explanations and phenomena. They also peppered the standards with the anti-scientific, anti-evolution talking points of the “Intelligent Design” movement.

“‘Intelligent Design’ is proof that even Creationism can evolve,” said Neas, “but the carefully applied veneer of scientific rhetoric cannot mask the underlying fact that this is part of a long-term assault on the teaching of evolution by activists who see a contradiction between scientific discoveries and their fundamentalist beliefs.”

“It is a remarkable contradiction that we live in an era in which scientific advances like the Hubble telescope continue to deepen and transform our understanding of the universe, but that science itself remains under attack,” said Neas. “Science classes should be for science.”

“It is a remarkable contradiction that we live in an era in which scientific advances like the Hubble telescope continue to deepen and transform our understanding of the universe, but that science itself remains under attack,” said Neas. “Science classes should be for science.”

Kansas voters booted two ultraconservative activists off the state school board in 2000 – and a third did not run for re-election – after they voted to remove the theory of evolution from state science standards. Neas noted that the terms of four of the six current activists are up in 2006.

People For the American Way Foundation monitors and analyzes the goals, strategies, and tactics of Radical Right groups and their political allies. In 2000, People For the American Way Foundation organized the performance at the University of Kansas of “Origins,” an original radio play about the original Scopes trial.

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