Topeka Some members of a committee that drew up proposed science standards for the state, upset with the State Board of Education for adding criticism of evolution to their draft, plan to resume meeting on their own.
Steve Case, assistant director of the Center for Science Education at Kansas University, said he had received responses from more than half the committee's members about plans to have additional unpaid sessions.
"We got interrupted," said Case, who headed the Science Standards Writing Committee. The panel has sought to distance itself from the final standards the board approved in November.
Although the standards are used to craft statewide achievement tests, local school boards still decide how science is taught in the classrooms.
Case, who plans a meeting in January, said school district officials realized there were "flaws" in the new standards and didn't want to base their curriculum on the state board's advice.
Also, he said, the committee's last draft contains errors and sections that need to be clarified to help districts that might use the panel's work rather than the final version edited by the education board's conservative majority.
"I really don't want districts using drafts or unfinished work or poor work," Case said. "I have some pride in the work that I do, and I want to finish that and make it available to schools. If people want to use it, great."
Board Chairman Steve Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican who supports the new standards, said he was not opposed to the group meeting outside the authority of the board.
"Realizing that the state assessments will not be taken off of these curriculum standards, of course that is their prerogative," he said of districts that might look to the committee for direction in setting curriculum. "We put out what we believe is the best set of curriculum standards based on empirical science, not intelligent design, and that's where we voted, and that's where it came down."