Kansas science standards update

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Update January 10, 2007
Contrary to my speculation (below), reports following the KSBE meetings Tues & Wed indicate that they are determined to vote on the revised standards at their February meeting.
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After the elections last November, there were reports that Kansas might be “months away” from adopting revised science standards that would restore the definition of “science” as a quest for explanations of natural phenomena based on principles of nature (so that science classes would not include consideration of non-natural or supernatural explanations, and evolutionary biology would not be supplemented in science classes with creationary or “ID” speculation). It seemed that there might be an extensive process before the issue would be brought to a vote by the newly-elected state board of education (see here).

After the first “orientation” meeting of the new Board yesterday (January 8), the Lawrence (KS) Journal World is reporting that the Board’s action could come as early as a month from now. According to the KSBE website, they are continuing in a regular business meeting today and tomorrow (Jan. 9-10), so there might be more news this week. From the LJ World article it sounds like the proposed new draft is not ready for a “briefing” this week, however, and the Board will probably need to allow an opportunity for defenders of the current (pro-supernaturalist) standards an opportunity to defend the current standards and to criticize the proposed revisions; so my own guess (from a distance, and without any other information) is that there will be pro- and con- “briefings” (not like the massive hearings last time) at the February meeting, with a vote more likely in March.

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