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Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 1999

LEGAL PRECEDENT

September 7, 1999

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To the editor:

Passage of the new Kansas science education standards has caused confusion among some school administrators and citizens. Nearly half of the citizens who testified at the recent board hearings believed that the standards required equal time for creationism in science classrooms, and some Kansas biology teachers have been told by their administrators that adoption of the altered standards will mean that they must adopt a textbook that includes creationism.

Both ideas are incorrect. The new science standards definitely do not require "equal time" or mandate the teaching of creationism in the science classroom. To do so would violate the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Edwards vs. Aguillard. However, the new science standards have withdrawn evolution from assessment and have made coverage of this one concept a local decision.

Any school administrator who contemplates "equal time" or adoption of a textbook that brings creationism into the public science classroom would be well-advised to consult a school attorney.

John Richard Schrock,

Editor, "Kansas Biology Teacher,"

Emporia.

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