Saturday, November 19, 2005

Kansas, the world feels your pain...

... or at least Popular Science magazine does.

In their round-up of the "worst jobs in science, 2005," entry 3 in the countdown
is "Kansas Biology Teacher."

"...On the front lines of science's devolution

"The evolution debate is consuming almost everything we do," says Brad Williamson, a 30-year science veteran at suburban Olathe East High School and a past president of the National Association of Biology Teachers. "It's politicized the classroom. Parents will say their child can't be in class during any discussion of evolution, and students will say things like 'My grandfather wasn't a monkey!'"

First, a history lesson. In 1999 a group of religious fundamentalists won election to the Kansas State Board of Education and tried to introduce creationism into the state's classrooms. They wanted to delete references to radiocarbon dating, continental drift and the fossil record from the education standards. In 2001 more-temperate forces prevailed in elections, but the anti-evolutionists garnered a 6-4 majority again last November. This year Intelligent Design (ID) theory is their anti-evolution tool of choice."


"Alas, for Kansas's educational reputation, the damage may be done. "We've heard anecdotally that our students are getting much more scrutiny at places like medical schools. I get calls from teachers in other states who say things like 'You rubes!'" Williamson says. "But this is happening across the country. It's not just Kansas anymore." "

ALso have a gander at # 9 in the countdown, "NASA Ballerina." The accompaning MPEG is seriously cool.

Kudos to TNH at Making Light for highlighting the artcle in her sidebar

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