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Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academies, and Jay Labov of the Center for Education at the National Research Council have written an article on "Teaching the Science of Evolution," which appears in the current issue of the journal Cell Biology Education.
In the latest American Scientist, Francisco J. Ayala -- University Professor and the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine; president of the scientific research society Sigma Xi; and supporter of NCSE -- calls for the improvement of science education in the American public schools.
On its last working day, the Minnesota legislature adopted new science standards for the state. In one of their last acts before adjourning on May 16, both houses voted for the standards as forwarded to them by the Department of Education in December, 2003. They thus approved the standards as written and submitted by a committee of educators and citizens.
When the Minnesota legislature adjourned on May 16 two bills based on the "Santorum amendment" to the federal No Child Left Behind education act finally died. House File 2003 and Senate File 1714 were companion bills, identical in language, introduced early in the year. Each was referred to the appropriate education committee, but neither made any further progress through the legislature during the remainder of the 2004 session.
May 14 was the last day of the current session of the Missouri House of Representatives. The session ended without any action being taken on House Bill 911 or House Bill 1722, two versions of an attempt to mandate "equal treatment" for intelligent design and evolution in science instruction. The bills are therefore dead for this year.
by Nick Matzke
On May 17, the final day of the 2004 legislative session, the Alabama state House adjourned without voting on SB336, a bill that would have allowed Alabama's teachers to present "alternative theories" of "biological or physical origins." Although SB336 was on the agenda for the final day, negotiations on the annual budget lasted into the evening, and the legislature adjourned at 10 p.m. without considering several controversial bills.
by Nick Matzke
After the May 4, 2004, school board election in Darby, Montana, the proposed "objective origins" policy is likely to be dead in the water.
On April 28, 2004, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed House Bill 2194 -- a bill governing textbook purchase contracts -- by a vote of 96–0. Conspicuously absent from the bill as passed was the disclaimer provision added to the bill on February 23.