Monday, November 14, 2005



Are the recently approved changes to the science curriculum in Kansas really damaging prospects for students around the state to get into good schools or -- as conservatives on the board insist -- is this just an issue of concern only to a small, ragtag band of atheists, Neo-Darwinists, and other social outcasts?

Matt Patterson, director of college counseling at Bishop Seabury Academy, in an article, "Evolution vote already hurting students," published in the Lawrence Journal-Word takes a different view. Here are some excerpts:
Already in the letters to the editor in The New York Times there has been talk of a remedial science requirement for students who come from states with problematic science curricula. The trouble is that selective colleges — from St. Olaf to Skidmore to Harvard — don’t offer many remedial courses. These colleges are for students who excel. Can you excel when what you are being taught is, according to globally accepted professional standards, fundamentally erroneous?

Some might argue that the changes made to the Kansas science standards are not deep enough or broad enough to create true and lasting damage. True, an intelligently designed student will see through the flaws of the curriculum and still comprehend the rigor and discipline that genuine science requires. In this case, though, the true damage is in the stigma that will accompany this student’s application to college.

Given the national attention that has been paid to this issue, it is going to be a long time before Kansas students overcome this stigma. In the meantime, I recommend that public high school students applying to selective colleges consider writing their college essay on why they oppose the recent changes made by the State Board of Education.


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