Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Science Short Circuited

Steve Abrams, Connie Morris, Kathy Martin and the rest of the wing-nut majority on the Kansas Board of Education were in such an all-fired hurry to write intelligent design inspired pseudoscience into the curriculum that they short circuited the standards development process.

Steve Case, of the Center for Science Education at the University of Kansas, who chaired the science standards committee, notes that because the process was interrupted, errors in science content were included in the Standards from the early writing drafts. The second law of thermodynamics, for example, is so poorly stated, that it is incorrect.

The board's theocratic majority doesn't care, of course, once they wedged their ID-inspired pseudoscience into the curriculum they walked away from the standards completely -- voting to approve them even though large sections had to be re-written by a consulting firm afterwards.

The board majority may have washed their hands of the standards, but the science standards committee, with the exception of just four of its members, continued to work on their own to complete the process. Here's what the committee has to say:
The process for developing the Kansas Science Education Standards has been very difficult since 1999. In 2004, the writing process of the committee was stopped in the middle of the development of the standards, leaving an unfinished flawed document. These recommendations are the recommendations of the majority of the appointed committee and reflected the recommendations that would have been made to the State Board of Education if the process had been allowed to continue.

You can read the committee's recommendations here. Naturally, the current fundamentalist board majority will be utterly uninterested in these recommendations. However, the November election -- where four of the six right-wingers on the board face must face the voters -- may once again bring sanity back to the board.

If moderates retake the board, as we think they have a very good chance of doing, the dedication and hard work of the standards committee will undoubtedly be put to use in the standards adopted by the newly elected moderate majority.


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