Quietly, the Kansas Board of Education reversed itself on its science standards:
With little discussion, the Kansas Board of Education this afternoon repealed the controversial science standards that cast doubt on evolution.
The board voted 6-4 — along its moderate-conservative fault lines — to adopt new standards that eliminated most of the old standard’s criticism of evolution, which mainstream scientists said was unwarranted and unscientific.
Supporters of the change said they hope the board — and the state — can now move on to other issues.
“I think it’s a great day for Kansas,” said Mary Ralstin of Shawnee, a mother of four who came to watch the board meeting.
Critics of the way evolution is taught say the new standards leave out critical information necessary for students to make up their own minds. They say public schools too often indoctrinate students about evolution rather than making them critically analyze the theory.
“We are making this a political issue rather than a scientific issue,” said board member Kathy Martin.
Two years ago, any time the Kansas Board of Evolution brought up the word “evolution” you could expect standing-room-only crowds.
Yet today it was just another board meeting. The only reminder of the contention that’s marked the debate were television cameras from Kansas stations and a thick red rope erected to separate the board from any overzealous members of the public.