Re: Kansas update

Keith B Miller (
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 22:26:37 -0500


>could Ryan or someone just update a Norwegian who doesn't
>know much about the american school system.
>Does the decision imply that
> -noone can teach evolution in ANY elementary school and high school in
>Kansas anymore ?
> -that evolution will be removed from the curriculum of every class (where
>has been taught before) in those schools ?
>Does this also imply that a modest teaching like "evolution is a theory
>that some/many
>scientists think fits the data well and may be a good explanation for how
>living things evolved"
>will not be allowed anymore in for example biology/science classes in any
>of the
>elementary and high schools in Kansas?

The situation is much more complex than that. The standards do not mandate
any curriculum content in the public schools. Teachers are free to teach
what they wish. What it does is establish content recommendations, as well
as the curriculum content which will be subject to statewide standardized
testing. Evolutionary theory or any science of origins will not be part of
this standardized test.

In those school districts where there is strong opposition to evolution,
teachers will find it increasingly difficult to teach it. They will not
have a formal statement to appeal to in their support. Since testing of
evolutionary theory is not mandated, the path of least resistance for the
local teachers will be simply to avoid the topic.

The "compromise" standards that were passed and the committee developed
standards (that included evolution as a unifying theory of the biological
sciences) can be viewed at <>. The original
"creationist" alternate standards can be viewed at
<>. This
latter web site also has a link to the web page of the Creation Science
Association of Mid-America which was involved in ghost writing the
"creationist" standards.


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506