Tuesday, May 23, 2006


South Carolina: Face-saving Agreement Reached

Members of the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee, who voted against the state's new biology standards, have now agreed to support them even though they don't call for students to question Darwin's theory as some, including State Senator Mike Fair, had hoped, according to Ron Barnett of The Greenville News.
The change of heart was based on a new proviso in the state budget that says all textbooks used in South Carolina public schools should encourage "critical thinking" skills.
Scientists and teachers who support teaching the science of evolution point out that the standards already call for teaching students critical thinking skills:

"Our textbooks already have a high concentration of material that focuses on critical thinking skills, higher order thinking skills," said Jim Foster, spokesman for the state Department of Education.

Joe Isaacs, chairman of the state Board of Education, also doesn't believe the proviso changes anything about the way biology is taught in South Carolina schools.

"I think that's basically what we're doing," he said. "I don't think that's going to create a problem at all."


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