Friday, November 11, 2005


Kansas Science Standards -- What Science Standards?

It has been widely reported that social conservatives on the Kansas Board of Education approved the new science standards over the objections of board moderates, teachers, and scientists this last Tuesday.

But, what exactly did they approve?

The National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association have refused to allow Kansas to use copyrighted material from their organizations in the new standards. That means, despite the approval, that large chunks of the standards have yet to be written.

That job will fall to the staff -- now under the direction of Michael Brown look-alike contest winner Bob Corkins -- in the coming months.

RSR has learned from a source on the science standards writing committee, who asked not to be identified, that:
They are in the process of attempting to rewrite for the copyright issues. They have no idea of how these standards will fall out. In fact they even added some new material, today [Tuesday, RSR], from John Richard Schrock from ESU that has not been reviewed (it’s material to broaden the standards content coverage in biology, not related to the evolution issue). As far as we understand this is the most cut up, unpredictable mess of a bunch of standards imaginable.

A supporter of science education in the state, who attended the board meeting that approved the standards reports that, "the resolution they adopted had version '2-d' crossed out and version '3' handwritten in, and included the statement, "with the caveat that the document must be reviewed by our attorneys for copyright approval... "


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