Evolution education is a hot potato in Ohio
In early January, following the release of the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision on December 20, the Ohio Board of Education held a non-agenda phony "emergency" vote on whether or not to keep a controversial "critical analysis" evolution lesson plan, and voted to keep the plan.
In February, the board held another phony "emergency" vote on whether to keep the lesson plan and this time voted to delete it, but also passed a resolution titled "Resolution 31" that asked the board's achievement committee to determine what language, if any, should replace the deleted lesson plan.
A replacement plan, called a "controversial issues template," was on the agenda for the September achievement committee meeting. Copies of the plan were distributed to committee members, but there was no discussion and no vote on it. Also, the plan was not considered at the meeting of the full board on the next day.
The template and Resolution 31 were not on the agenda for the October board meeting, but in a third phony "emergency" vote, the board voted Tuesday to repeal Resolution 31 (someone should sue the living crap out of the Ohio BOE for abusing the "emergency" exceptions of the Ohio open meetings laws). The motion approved by the board said,
RESOLVED, That the Achievement Committee of the State Board of Education, having recommended no response to Board Resolution 31 referred to it in February 2006, is hereby discharged from further consideration of Resolution 31 and anything arising therefrom, including the template for teaching controversial issues.
Though the board repealed Board Resolution 31, there was no report of any vote to reject the template that was proposed at the September board meetings. Jim Craig, co-chairman of the achievement committee, said Monday that the template may go on the department's web site for four to six months to test public reaction. So the board may still have something up its sleeve. One thing that the board members have staring them in the face is the fact that a large percentage of the public -- possibly a majority -- is in favor of teaching the weaknesses of evolution as well as evolution. School-board election races where evolution education was a major issue have been close. Anyway, Darwinists who think that this issue is going away anytime soon have another thing coming.
The reaction of John West of the Discovery Institute is here.
In other news, the Michigan state Board of Education unanimously decided to not include intelligent design in the state's education guidelines. However, Dick DeVos, the state's Republican gubernatorial candidate, said last month that he is in favor of teaching intelligent design along with evolution in science classes, though he said the decision should be left up to local school districts.
I think that there is a need to distinguish between (1) the inclusion of the actual teaching of criticisms of evolution in official curricula and (2) the inclusion of "evolution disclaimers" in official curricula.
And it's slower in Ohio, too --
Labels: Ohio controversy