Saturday, March 26, 2005

Olathe school board candidates

Kansas City Star | 03/26/2005 | School candidates share views at forum:
Science education

Moderators asked candidates to describe their vision of science education.

• Gray vs. Poland: Poland said the scientific tradition as he sees it is to form a premise, collect facts and see if those facts support a theory. He said he encouraged the school district to continue that tradition while giving students the opportunity to investigate and think about other ideas.

Gray said he was aware of the debate over teaching evolution in public schools. He said he thought creationism and intelligent design should be taught as theories, just as evolution is now.

• Brooks vs. Churchman: Churchman said he supported teaching children to think critically and make their own decisions after exploring the facts. He said he supported looking at other theories in the classroom besides evolution.

“Evolution has holes in it,” he said.

Brooks said she would look to the district's science teachers for direction on whether other theories besides evolution should be taught.

“I am a huge fan of critical thinking,” she said. “But I am not a science teacher.”

• Ashley vs. Kardis: Kardis said his top concern when it came to the science curriculum was continuing the progressive science programs already in the schools.

He addressed the evolution issue by saying, “As parents, we have a right that the values and faith we are instilling in our children at home are not being undermined by what they learn at in school.”

Ashley said the she supported the continued teaching of evolution. While creationism and intelligent design are appropriate for researchers to discuss and debate, she said that discussion shouldn't come into the curriculum until high school or college.
Poland seems good, thought not forceful. Mr. Poland is the lesser of two evils.

I reluctantly endorse Brooks, as the lesser of two evils, but I worry that she's just being subtle.

I think Rita Ashley's position is pretty reasonable, and I worry that Mr. Kardis is implying that teaching evolution will attack religion or values. This is false, and anyone who doesn't know it doesn't deserve to be on the Olathe school board.

So, Olathe residents should elect Ashley, Brooks and Poland. Also, oppose the discrimination amendment. And drop some cash on Kansans for Fairness. Your help could kill this flawed amendment.