Thursday, October 13, 2005

Outside review blasts changes by ID Network

Nonprofit group criticizes proposed Kansas science standards:
A report from the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning in Aurora, Colo., gave the Kansas standards good marks for being appropriate for all students, meeting testing criteria and challenging students to learn at a high level.

However, the report criticized the standards as unclear, especially in areas related to evolution and the study of life's origins. The review noted the state doesn't expect to test students on many key elements of evolution covered by language in the standards.

Intelligent-design advocates persuaded the state board's 6-4 conservative majority to include language in the proposed standards indicating there's a controversy over evolutionary theory - drawing criticism from many scientists. …much of the criticism in the Mid-Continent review arose from changes made by conservative board members.

Case said there's no excuse for anything but top scores from an outside review. However, Mid-Continent's criticisms - that parts of the proposed standards were poorly worded or unclear or that statements were not supported by scientists - are reason to continue working on the document, he said.

Much of [the material identified as questionable by MCREL] reflected intelligent-design advocates' criticism of evolutionary theory that natural chemical processes can create the building blocks of life, that all life has a common origin and that man and apes share a common ancestor.

Case said approval of new standards could be delayed if the national and international science groups balk at allowing their materials to be part of the Kansas standards.

In 1999, those organizations refused to grant copyright permission for changes in the Kansas standards that eliminated most references to evolution. Two years later, after elections, the board rewrote the standards again, making them evolution-friendly.

[IDNet poobah John] Calvert said it would be unfortunate to delay the process, but not unexpected if copyrights became a sticking point.

"If national organizations try to use that kind of strong-arm method, it's just another example of science interfering with education," Calvert said.
When will scientists learn not to interfere in education. Mad fools!

I guess it's like Twain said, "I never let schooling get in the way of my education."

The fact that the outside review found problems in the parts rejected by the science standards committee is not – shall we say – surprising.