Thursday, October 17, 2002
I was happy to see that Ohio education officials "get it" in the science controversy over the teaching of evolution. The other day, their state board voted to allow academic freedom in Ohio's science classrooms. They are going to put in science standards that will enable local schools and teachers to teach kids about the theory of intelligent design, and to decide whether and when to teach all of the controversies and contradictions about traditional evolutionary theory.
It's called "critical thinking," sports fans.
Ohio's got it. Nebraska doesn't.
This past June, five Nebraska State Board of Education members voted to reject a similar, rational, common-sense change in Nebraska's science standards. It would have allowed evolution to still be taught, of course, only warts and all. Teachers would be encouraged to teach what makes sense about evolution alongside the many, many puzzles, misconceptions, myths and outright hoaxes involved in evolution, too. Assessments would be aligned with this new curricular freedom, instead of the evolution-only standards and assessments we now have.
Our standards now censor out all opposing research and indications that refute and debunk evolution. Kids are being denied the facts. It's really sad to be such goobers on this issue. But there you have it.
Those five people on the State Board misunderstood what is needed -- all sides of the story to be taught in the classroom. If you put all of the scientific theories about life's origins and development on a level playing field, there's no way evolution would win. It is, in the words of the ancient scholars, a goober.
But the other theories need a chance to get in the game. Nebraska isn't letting them in. I guess the five state board members who voted against academic freedom thought if they allowed Nebraska science teachers to prod students to explore the many reasons why evolution can't be true, it would amount to allowing religion in the classroom.
What were they thinking? That Nebraska science teachers would all have to get Big Hair, pound their Bibles and shout "Hallelujah, chillun!" ???
Just let the kiddies learn science. Don't be afraid to teach them the truth. OK?
The Ohio vote is intelligent, modern, fair and correct.
We look like goobers.
The good news is, two Nebraska State Education Board directors did vote to improve the science standards last June. If you live in western Nebraska or the Omaha area, and your Nov. 5 ballot for the State Board of Ed contains the names of either Kathy Wilmot or Kathryn Piller, rejoice, and vote for their reelection. Tell your friends, too.
And if you live in any other district, ask your incumbents how THEY voted, last June, and new candidates how they WOULD have voted.
If they would have voted with Wilmot and Piller, you want them on your state board.
Get out the vote for those two on Nov. 5.
We need to try again to make Nebraska goober-free.
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