Friday, December 09, 2005


Remedial Reading

Kathy Martin, you remember her, she's the Kansas state board of education member who elicited groans of disbelief from audience members at the science hearings last May when she admitted she hadn't read the standards, "word for word."

Of course, we're past all that, now. Martin and the fundamentalist majority on the board wrote their religious beliefs into the standards in early November. As a result, science has now been officially re-defined to make it acceptable to the citizens of Oz.

We've moved on to vouchers -- we call them scholarships here (we're big on code words that say one thing, but mean another) -- and charter schools.

Our Kathy is big on vouchers and charter schools:

"All kids have to go to school. The vouchers would be for certain children with special education requirements. Yes, we think there is a need for this. It will allow special education children to receive more services," Martin tells Mary Hufford of the Clay Center Dispatch.

The special requirements, of course, are children with parents who feel entitled to a private, religious education for their kids and expect taxpayers to foot the bill.

Kansas taxpayers paid a bundle to put together a group of scientists and educators to draft the new standards that Martin didn't bother to read. We also invested heavily to bring the ID flying circus into the state last May for the hearings.

We spent more on the Corkins transition team that produced a report proposing that we privatize public education in the state by underwriting unregulated private and charter schools.

Oh, and while Martin supports both proposals, she hasn't read that report, either.

Margaret Talbot wrote a piece in the Dec. 5 New Yorker, "Darwin in the Dock," that tried to understand the divide in Dover. It wasn't, she found, between old-timers and newcomers, between Democrats and Republicans, or even between religious and secular people.

"In some ways," wrote Talbot, "the clearest line of demarcation was between those who avidly read the local newspapers (virtually all the plaintiffs) and those who scorned them (virtually all the pro-intelligent-design school-board members)."

Our president, George Bush, you may recall, also does not read the papers.

Kathy Martin, it seems, reads nothing.


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