To reporters on Wednesday, Morris said she doesn't think she crossed any lines but acknowledged the newsletter contained attacks [on fellow Board members].The newsletter, her personal attacks, and her excessive spending will all be scrutinized by the Board's policy committee.
"Oh yes, there were attacks, but that's part of the game isn't it," she said. "That's part of informing people what is going on."
MSNBC has also picked up the story of the acrimony at the Board meeting. Anyone got audio out there?
Here is the text of the newsletter. All emphasis is from the original, which was published on official State Board of Education letterhead. All grammatical errors are also from the original.
This newsletter comes to you in an effort to provide the public with a more detailed an perhaps accurate summary of the actions of the Kansas State Board of Education. It has been provided partially at your, the taxpayer's expense. It is unfortunate that we can't rely on mainstream media sources to accurately and honestly inform the public. I pray that success will find those who DO work diligently to provide a thorough representation of the truth…as for now, I will continue to donate my time to the effort of these newsletters. If you wish to be removed from my address list, or know others to add, please feel free to let me know. I will attempt to keep it concise.
More information may be found at www.ksde.org
Did Anyone say "Evolution"?
As many of you know a Science Sub-Committee of the State Board of Education has been appointed to delve further into the Science standards currently being reviewed.
We have not proposed inserting Creationism or Intelligent Design into the standards or Kansas public science classrooms, contrary to what the media would like to lead you to believe!
The suggested revisions may be viewed in-depth at the KSDE website, but include some minor changes such as adding the word "informed" to the mission statement.
It is our goal to write the standards in such a way that clearly gives educators the right AND responsibility to present the criticisms of Darwinism alongside the age-old fairytale of evolution (italics mine, not Kansas Standards'.) [italics Morris's, not anyone else's.]
First, let me say that I am a Christian and subscribe to the literal depiction of the origin of life as detailed in Genesis. i know that many of you don't adhere to the same belief. In fact, many Christians find no difficulty in reconciling their faith with evolution – so be it. But the quandary exists when poor science – with anti-God contempt and arrogance – must insist it has all the answers. Good science is discovery. To slam shut the books and declare "end of lesson – let's all go home because we know how life began," is brazenly ill-informed. I'm trusting you aren't one of those folks…
Four liberal board members; GAMBLE, WAGNON, WAUGH, RUPE … ARE!
The Evolutionists are in Panic Mode!
These four liberals have repeatedly voted in opposition to allowing a thorough examination of the standards; insisting, among numerous other feeble arguments, that any further dialogue is a waste of taxpayer's dollars. Their attorney is with the ACLU – anybody want to bet that if they take this to court they won't be mentioning the cost then?
Sue Gamble is continually most disruptive and rude as she repeatedly ignores statements made moments before as she's vexed for ways to entangle a discussion or make it about religion and in her view – therefore a fowl [sic]. Criticizing Darwinism IS NOT a religious teaching. How is it about religion to inform students that there is absolutely no evidence for the primordial "soup" from which life supposedly arose? ≥ or that the fossil record (or lack thereof) presents a critical problem for evolutionists? This type of evidence debunking evolution as an irrefutable fact is plentiful and is growing in acceptance in the Scientific community,
Liberal Bill Wagnon: "…Are we also going to teach wiccan…and these other sorts of religions?" Really, it's either funny or infuriating…nobody wants to teach religion in a public science classroom! We don't have to in order to refute evolution; the science does that for us. By the way, wiccan is witchcraft, an occult of sorcery.
Favorite Carol Rupe blooper with pseudo-innocence, "…opposition to science (emphasis hers) mystifies and troubles me!" Who, for Pete's sake! Is opposing science? In fact, we want MORE science by CRITICALLY ANALIZING the evidence.
The the hearings…
The Sub-Committee met in May with internationally recognized and well-published Scientists who have stood up to rigorous peer-review. You may verify this by reviewing their credentials at the KSDE website. Their testimonies were extraordinary! In short, Darwin's theory of evolution is biologically, genetically, mathematically, chemically, metaphysically, and etc. "wildly" and "utterly impossible." A transcript of the testimony will also be available online in a few weeks.
The evolutionists refused to present a defense as to why their theory should not stand to be criticized. They desperately need to withhold the fact that evolution is a theory in crisis and has been crumbling apart for years, particularly with the advancement of technological capabilities. As they cowardly dodged a professional platform from which to make their case before the world (literally – media outlets from around the globe clamored for position in the packed room) they opted to play underhanded games, grasping at any opportunity to confuse the point and create hysteria. The media loved the mania and often cooperated by grossly reporting a true picture of the pivotal event.
None of the four liberal board members attended ANY of the sessions that spanned four days. They were not interested in becoming educated on an issue that pulls at the hearts of many of us. All six Board Members who have supported true academic inquiry attended nearly every session of the hearings:
Chairman Dr. Steve Abrams, Iris Van Meter,
Vice-Chairman John Bacon, Kathy Martin
Legislative Liaison Ken WIllard, and myself, Connie Morris.
We've worked together like a well oiled machine under the leadership of Dr. Abrams. This board has been under liberal control for years, perhaps decades. It will take a backbone of steel to stand against the wall of bureaucracy and entrenched attitude of more and more spending and less parental and local control. As we forge every bit of our being for the battles ahead, I humbly ask for your prayers. It's certain you have plentyfor which to beseech the Lord – but if you think of us, please request strength; wisdom and courage on our behalf.
St Paul and Chetopa
I do not support school consolidation. (I do, however, believe some savings may be realized by creating a more efficient administrative hierarchy.) Wonderful educational opportunities take place in humble, rural, small schools. Those opportunities may not resemble the ones enjoyed by more urban schools, but none-the-less valuable and treasured. The St. Paul and Chetopa land transfer was unique and difficult to navigate as the issue spans years of talks and elections. In May, the State Board voted (9-yes, 1-no, which was Sue Gamble) to allow the merger/transfer. It was immensely difficult to arrive at a decision, but the determining factor for me was the need to support local control and to respect the process of elections and government. It isn't always pretty, but the American system of government is precious. Perhaps some legislative changes are needed as demonstrated in this issue, for instance, should districts be contiguous to combine? I know some of you are disappointed. I know what this may mean to the future of Thayer and others in the area, or perhaps statewide. I'm sorry for your loss and pray that you can now move forward to unite with new vigor.
The Supreme Court School Finance Case
To recap and in painfully general terms, the Supreme Court determined the state's funding scheme to be unconstitutional and ordered the legislature to revise the formula and insert more money into the system. In light of the seemingly impossible task, I was fairly satisfied with the Legislature's response; particularly that they managed to comply (increase spending by $142 million) without a tax increase. (PS: It is not my opinion that education needs more of your money. A serious redistribution would go a long way.)
The most disturbing change (in my opinion) is the doubling of money for non-English speaking students, but again, they were under order by the Supreme Court. I also believe the inequities continue, if not more persistent, with the proposal now on the table. I suspect the bargain was struck in order to gain votes. Then the Supreme Court decided the 2005 Legislature's offer was insufficient and ordered them back to Topeka and to raise the amount of funding by $285 million above last year's funding level BEFORE July 1, 2005! I'm stunned.
How do you like lawmaking AND appropriations from the bench?
Are you ready to work to preserve our representative republic?…
it looks like the liberals are drawing a line in the sand!
Upcoming News Items
The board will soon vote on the Science Standards. They will likely pass with the language which allows and requires a critical look at evolution. There will be a new round of media scourging and blustering about law suits. Can you imagine a judge telling us we can't expose students to certain information, evidence and data???
Health standards are currently being reviewed. One area of concern is abstinence education (based solely on enormous statistical data showing the health hazards now suffered by a society who has reveled too long in the free-sex revolution…you will hear the moral/religious card being trumpeted from the rooftops…AGAIN.) Anatomy and Physiology used to be part of a rigorous health curriculum, but has long been discarded for a more Sex Education type of teaching. We are hoping to reclaim these topics (possibly in the Science Standards) as well as seek more decorum for the teaching of the reproductive system. Prudish! They will exclaum. Well, how about some modern day etiquette classes while we're at it?
I am also hoping to pursue more detailed guidance within the Health Standards on the dignity of work or Work Ethics. It seems logical to me that realizing the worth of work is conducive to one's health and well-being and is an area in which our culture has slumped. I wonder what argument the liberals will concoct to battle such a radical idea?
After the retirement of the Commissioner of Education, the board is now faced with hiring a replacement. With slick talk and sly skill, bureaucracy has been a handy tool for impeding the progress of the newly elected conservative board. Our commissioner must be willing to work harmoniously with the board, striving to further the decisions made by the people sent to represent their friends, family and neighbors known as constituents. Please pray with us as we review applications and conduct interviews. The new commissioner has a mighty task before him/her and will need to jump in running.
District 5 Kansas State Board of Education Member