Monday, May 21, 2007
Ohio Citizens for Science Calls on State School Boards to Block Election of Creationist Candidate for President of National School Board Association
The following news release was issued by Ohio Citizens for Science:
Teachers, scientists and organizations this week called on state school boards in all 50 states to oppose the nomination of Kansas creationist Kenneth Willard as president of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), and instead support the pro-science write-in candidate Republican GR Sam Schloemer of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Willard, a Republican from Hutchinson, KS, was a leader in bringing international ridicule to the Kansas Board of Education in 2005 by backing statewide science standards that included creationist arguments about the validity of evolution and advanced a narrow sectarian religious viewpoint masquerading as science.
Patricia Princehouse, director of Ohio Citizens for Science, expressed dismay over NASBE's nomination of Willard: "The standards he promoted misrepresented, distorted and contradicted mainstream science. Boards of Education have no right to endorse using the science classroom to try to convert other people's children to their religion."
"Mr. Willard and his creationist colleagues were willing to disregard proper procedures and the advice of educational experts in advancing their radical right-wing conservative views about science and other topics important to education. I believe he would be a poor choice to lead a national organization of school boards," said Jack Krebs, a public school teacher and president of Kansas Citizens for Science.
"The last thing this country needs is to export Kansas' blunders to the other 50 states," said Steve Rissing of The Ohio State University. "We don’t need a repeat of the Dover trial."
Kansas' anti-evolution standards were repealed in February, 2007 after voters ousted two KBE creationists, but Willard squeaked through to win re-election by a narrow margin.
The Kansas debacle is chronicled in the movie "A Flock of Dodos: the Evolution Intelligent Design Circus" airing Thursday through Monday, May 17-21 on Showtime.