Thursday, February 16, 2006

Manhattan school district rejects new science standards

Via the K-State Collegian, USD 383 becomes first district to reject new science standards:
In a 6-0 final action vote, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 became the first school district in Kansas to reject the science standards passed by the Kansas State Board of Education on Nov. 8, 2005, Mike Herman, associate professor of biology, said.

The standards allowed non-natural explanations of natural phenomena.

“I think what has us all concerned is when we look at the state standards, there is a door that opens toward Intelligent Design,” board member Beth Tatarko said.
Good for them. They will use the standards proposed by the science standards committee, rather than the proposals they rejected.

“The recent change in the state science standards threatens the very heart of what scientific study is about: observable and testable questioning of nature,” Alan Schurle, senior at Manhattan High School, said. “Offering supernatural explanations for natural phenomena would be taking an extraordinary step backward.”

Schurle was recently named a semi-finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search, and he said his success is due to his excellent science education and his teachers.

“I am concerned with offering future generations the same opportunities that have been granted to me,” he said.
Others were afraid that this was somehow illegal, but it's entirely consistent with local control, a key part of Kansas educational law.