State Board of Education Resolution

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On February 9, 2005, the state BOE passed the following proposal designed to circumvent the established procedure for revising the standards, and to give the Intelligent Design/creationist proponents a special platform to advance their ideas.

Here is the proposal:

RESOLUTION REGARDING THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM STANDARDS

WHEREAS, there seems to be significant disagreement within the Science Curriculum Writing Committee regarding revisions to the proposed science curriculum standards about issues that seem to be of legal and scientific substance, particularly with respect to the issue of the definition of science and the issue of origins and evolution;

WHEREAS, the controversy appears to mirror a controversy within the legal and scientific communities about these issues;

WHEREAS, the disagreement is reflected in proposed changes to the Science Curriculum Standards reflected in proposals offered by a significant minority of the Science Curriculum Writing committee, presented by Harris, et al., which is hereinafter referred to as the Minority Report;

WHEREAS, it is believed that there is a significant need for public education to be responsive to the needs of its patrons;

WHEREAS, it would be helpful to the Board’s decision to gather additional information regarding the controversy from the public and also from scientific experts on both sides of the issue,

NOW THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Kansas Dept. of Education is hereby directed to post not later than February 17, 2005 on its web site a facility or web page that will effectively collect comments from the public regarding the various proposed changes to the Science Curriculum Standards, either contained within the Science Curriculum Standards Draft or contained within the Minority Report, which facility will gather (a) the specific comments about any aspect of the proposed Science Curriculum Standards, and (b) the name, email address, city and state of respondent.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Kansas Dept. of Education will make the raw data available to the members of the Board, and will deliver to the KSBE a report that will organize the data into categories of (a) how many respondents were within Kansas; (b) the number of respondents that generally supported and generally opposed the various areas of input;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a State Board Science Hearing Committee of the KSBE is hereby established to conduct hearings focused on the areas of disagreement outlined by the majority and minority positions of the Science Writing Committee, consisting of Steve Abrams, as Chair, Kathy Martin, as Vice-Chair, and Connie Morris, with such committee hereinafter referred to as the Science Hearing Committee.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that actions of the Science Hearing Committee shall be effected by a majority vote of its members at a duly called meeting with a quorum present;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Science Hearing Committee shall have the authority to conduct hearings to investigate the merits of the two opposing views offered by the Kansas Science Curriculum Writing Committee at such places and times as it deems appropriate in accodance with such rules and procedures as it may from time to time establish;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Science Hearing Committee is authorized to incur expenses for the reasonable travel expenses for witnesses that are called by the Science Hearing Committee to testify at the hearing, for the expenses of providing adequate facilities for its hearings, and for the services of a court reporter to record the proceedings of its hearings, with the funds for such expenses to be drawn from the general operating funds of the Kansas Department of Education.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Commissioner of Education will provide, through the Kansas Department of Education, such support services and aid as the Science Hearing Committee may request; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that at the conclusion of its deliberations, the Science Hearing Committee will prepare a report to the Board of its findings and conclusions and present such report to the Board not later than June 15, 2005.

END

Last updated February 9, 2005