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A little more good news.
KANSANS REBUKE EDUCATION OFFICIALS WHO WEAKENED SCIENCE EDUCATION
In yesterday's Republican primary, citizens of Kansas ousted two
ultraconservative members of the state's board of education who voted
last year to de-emphasize the teaching of evolution in the public
"Republican voters in Kansas have stood up to those who sought to
force their religious beliefs into science classrooms," said People
For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas. "This is a victory for
Kansas children, who should not be deprived of one of the most
important cornerstones of modern science. Teaching biology without
evolution is like teaching civics without the Constitution."
"Today's vote is also a signal to education officials everywhere
that Americans want science taught in our science classrooms," Neas
said. "Public schools should respect students' religious beliefs
without compromising the quality of education."
Yesterday, Republican primary voters defeated two members of the 10-
member Kansas Board of Education in favor of moderates who campaigned
against the science standards adopted by a 6-4 vote on Aug. 11, 1999;
another moderate won a primary for the seat of a retiring supporter
of the standards. Those science-testing standards excluded
macroevolution, the theory that different species can have common
ancestors, and removed mention of the age of the Earth and the big-
bang theory of the origin of the universe. The new moderate board
majority is expected to replace those standards.
Linda Holloway, the chairwoman of the board, and Mary Douglas Brown
were two of six members who supported the new standards, which are
being used to develop tests to be given to students in spring 2001.
Holloway, who raised $74,000 in defense of her seat, was trounced 60%
to 40% by Sue Gamble, a moderate who campaigned against the science-
testing standards. Carol Rupe defeated conservative Mary Douglas
Brown by a margin of 52% to 48%. Bruce Wyatt, a moderate who favors
reworking the science standards, defeated conservative Brad Angell
58% to 43%.
The board's science standards were formed with the help of Tom
Willis, president of the Creation Science Association, which
advocates the teaching of the biblical creation story in public
school classrooms. Religious Right leaders had praised the standards
and education officials in other states had begun constructing
Last year, People For the American Way Foundation had urged the
Kansas Board of Education to defeat the new standards, saying they
would undermine children's education and raise potential
constitutional problems, since they discouraged the teaching of
evolution and encouraged the injection of creation theology into
Neas congratulated Kansas educators, parents and the two grassroots
groups, Mainstream Coalition and Kansas Citizens for Science, who
mobilized on behalf of the state's schoolchildren.
PFAW conducted voter identification and turnout efforts in support
of board of education candidates who advocated educational standards
based on scientific consensus, not religious dogma.
People For the American Way is a national advocacy organization
working to defend and protect Americans' constitutional liberties and
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