Kansas reverses state science standards


  • Randy Showstack


Two days after the 192nd anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on February 12, the Kansas State Board of Education voted 7-3 to approve new state science standards. The standards now include the concept of evolutionary biology, as well as references to the Big Bang theory and geological time.

The vote reverses an August 1999 decision by the same board to eliminate the mandate to teach evolution across species—distinguished by the board as macroevolution, as opposed to microevolution, within species. That decision deleted almost all references to evolution, as well as the Big Bang theory and geological time from the standards. The 1999 standards did not actually ban teaching these topics, but left that decision to the state's 304 local school boards. Those standards gained international attention and several board members supporting them were voted out of office.