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Lesson Plans

Kansas comes back in from the cold!

From: Artemis420
Date: Thu Aug 03 2000 - 23:15:11 PDT

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    A little more good news.


    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
    similar ones.

    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
    science classes.

    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
    civil rights

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