Speech at Kansas BOE meeting today

| 7 Comments

From a post on KCFS News today: (You can listen to the actual speech there, if you wish - it’s only three minutes long.)

Today I spoke at the Kansas BOE meeting during the Open Forum about KCFS’s letter to the superintendents. My main points were:

  • The Board’s standards are seriously flawed.
  • The Writing Committee’s Recommended standards have been completed, and are much better than the Board’s standards.
  • KCFS believes that, based on the Dover criteria, the Board’s standards could be declared unconstitutional.
  • The state BOE and their standards can’t be directly challenged because the state standards are non-binding, but if a district adopts and implements the state standards, then they are the entity that is at legal risk.

Therefore, KCFS urges districts to reject the Board standards and adopt the Committee’s Recommended standards.

The last bulleted point above caught the attention of some reporters and audience members, who told me later they appreciated having this distinction pointed out: it is the local district who could pay for the Board’s constitutionally flawed standards, not the Board itself.

My colleague in Ohio, Dick Hoppe, calls this the “Dover trap.” The Board standards may embolden districts with creationist leanings to bring ID creationist material into the classroom and to invoke the Board standards as their justification. At that point, the local district will become a potential target for a lawsuit - a potential Dover situation for the district. Districts should be aware of this danger.

7 Comments

Good job, Jack!

*doffs cap*

A grammatical point: In the last line “District’s” should not have an apostrophe.

Yikes - I hate it when I do that! Thanks for the correction.

Jack the last point of clearly stating who will be liable in court is of the utmost importance. Creationists at the Board my well care less for the consequences but the individual districts are the ones carrying the load of litigation. Just as Dover demonstrated, the districts taking this sort of bait will lose and be held accountable (monetarily) for the actions of these bozos.

speaking of, is there any clear assessment of the monetary damage that was actually done to the dover district? i have not heard a concrete description of the consequences of the decision w/r/t the district’s budget and coffers.

dre asked

speaking of, is there any clear assessment of the monetary damage that was actually done to the dover district? i have not heard a concrete description of the consequences of the decision w/r/t the district’s budget and coffers.

The Dover school district was assessed $1 in damages and $1 million in costs.

RBH

Slight correction to RBH: the District was assessed $1 per plaintiff for a total of $13 in damages, and over $2 million in costs and attorney fees, which was reduced to $1 million dollars in an agreement contingent on the District not appealing the decision.

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Krebs published on June 13, 2006 3:49 PM.

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