Vote on New Science Standards in Kansas next Tuesday

Next Tuesday the Kansas state Board of Education will vote on adopting new science standards based on the work on the science standards writing committee. The committee, of which I am a member, started work in June 2004, but our work was co-opted by the Intelligent Design crowd in Kansas (remember the infamous Kangaroo Kourt “science hearings” in 2005?), and so ID-creationist standards were adopted in November 2005.

However, elections in 2006 once again brought a majority of pro-science supporters to the Board, and so now the Committee’s Recommended Standards (which we continued to work on even after we were officially dismissed in favor of the IDists) are being brought back for adoption.

Kansas Citizens for Science has issued an open letter supporting the Board in voting “Yes” to adopt the new standards. (See below the fold.)

We are asking that people in the state and around the world email Board members expressing your support for the new standards. Please keep your emails positive, even to the Board members who support the ID standards. The issue is not what is wrong with the ID standards (a subject that has been interminably discussed), but rather what is right about the Committee’s standards. Put your email in a positive pro-science, pro-education framework, not an anti-anything framework.

Help Kansas Citizens for Science stand up for science!

By the way, if you want to see for yourself the differences in the Committee’s standards and the ID standards, you can download a comparison document here. However, trust me, ours are better, :-)

Open Letter from Kansas Citizens for Science

On Tuesday, February 13, 2007, the Kansas Board of Education will vote on adopting new science standards based on the Recommendations of the Science Standards Writing Committee, replacing the Intelligent Design-influenced standards passed by the previous Board in November 2005.

Kansas Citizens for for Science strongly encourages all state Board members to vote “Yes” on this important issue, for two compelling reasons.

* First, the Committee’s Standards represent the mainstream scientific consensus on the nature of science and on evolution, and the current standards do not.

* Second, the Committee’s Standards were developed according to the proper process, and the current standards were not.

The Committee, appointed by the Board in 2004, followed established procedures, including addressing all minority views democratically by requiring a 2/3 vote on all content. The previous Board badly abused established procedures. They allowed members of the Intelligent Design movement to subvert both content and process based on their entirely false belief that mainstream science is atheistic.

Adopting the Committee’s Standards now is simply finishing the proper process - restoring mainstream science to our standards and credibility to our state.

New Board members Jana Shaver of Independence and Sally Cauble of Liberal ran on clear platforms of replacing the current Intelligent Design standards. We encourage them and their fellow Board members in fulfilling this campaign pledge.

Let members of the state Board of Education know that you support their voting “Yes” to adopt new science standards based on the Writing Committee’s Recommended standards.

Here’s what you can do:

* Email state Board members (email addresses below) expressing your support for their “Yes” vote to adopt the new standards * Write letters of support to your local news media. See here for contact information. * Attend the Board’s public open forum Tuesday, February 13 at 10:30 in Topeka at the state Department of Education Building, 120 SE 10th. Avenue

Here are email addresses for the Board members:

These Board members support the Committee’s Recommended standards. Support them in their voting “Yes” to adopt new standards.

Sally Cauble, Liberal (new member)

Jana Shaver, Independence (new member)

Janet Waugh, Kansas City

Sue Gamble, Shawnee

Carol Rupe, Wichita

Dr. Bill Wagnon, Topeka

These Board members object to the Committee’s Recommended standards. They are part of the group that subverted the standards process in order to adopt the Intelligent Design-influenced standards. Let them know that you think they also should do the right thing and vote “Yes” to adopt the new standards.

Dr. Steve Abrams, Arkansas City

John Bacon, Olathe

Kenneth Willard, Hutchinson

Kathy Martin, Clay Center

Thank you for taking the time to let our state board of education know that we’re tired of monkeying around with the evolution issue!

Jack Krebs, President, Kansas Citizens for Science