Monday, March 27, 2006
Deborah Owens Fink, Then and Now
"My goal has always been and will continue to be to focus on allowing students to openly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of evolution and not censor that in the classroom... "
Later in the interview, in response to a question about Dover, Owens Fink says:
"... Dover mandated intelligent design, Ohio does not. No place in the Ohio
lesson is intelligent design or any religious reference made... the Dover board
sent a letter to districts residents denigrating evolution and advocating
intelligent design. Ohio did no such thing."
Owens Fink has not always sung from "teach the controversy" hymnbook though. According to Charu Gupta of the Free Times:
- In 2001, Owens Fink immediately nominated Robert Lattimer, a Hudson chemist and leader of Ohio’s intelligent design movemnt to serve on the science advisory committee.
- Owens Fink describes Lattimer as a “well-respected chemist” who would “prefer that evolution be taught objectively.”
- But she knew of Lattimer’s sympathies — that’s clear from an e-mail she sent to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) explaining her nomination. The e-mail, cited in a May 2002 Plain Dealer article, stated, “I am very hopeful that Bob Lattimer and at least one other intelligent-design person can be included.” Owens Fink went on to write that, like Lattimer, she too felt “additional competing theories [should] be included as well — e.g. intelligent design.”
- In 1996, Lattimer was a vocal opponent of the Hudson school board’s choice of the best-selling social studies text The American People. The book, Lattimer thought, spent too much time on women and minorities.
- Lattimer organized a local chapter of the conservative education-reform group Citizens for Excellence in Education. He also signed the Alliance for the Separation of School and State’s petition, which calls for “ending government involvement in education” — in other words, eradicating public schools