To the editor:
Thank you for publishing information in the June 10 paper on how citizens can access the different versions of the science standards being discussed by the State Board of Education. The page 3A heading "Scientists promoting revised teaching plan" is, however, misleading. Science teachers and scientific researchers, such as myself, strongly support the original standards developed by the 27-member committee and based on nationally recognized standards. We oppose the "alternative" version developed by Mr. Abrams and religious conservatives.
The issues are much deeper than just the "creation" vs. "evolution" controversy discussed in the press. Other areas of science such as geological history are also ignored. Perhaps of greatest concern is that the Abrams' document encourages teaching of only "facts" but not the current scientific understanding of underlying processes. For example, the Abrams document emphasizes that teachers should show that objects fall if dropped but that explanations of "why" (the well-known theory of gravity) are highly speculative. Effectively, the Abrams document gives a view of science that is centuries out-of-date. If the Abrams document is successful, Kansas children will be woefully ignorant of the sciences and not be competitive in science courses at the college and university level, and will lack the background for many careers. The resolution of this issue will directly affect the success of citizens of our state for years to come.
I encourage everyone to read the documents and register your opinion with the State Board of Education (120 S.E. 10th, Topeka, KS 66612).
2905 Pebble Lane.