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In August 2003, NCSE sponsored a raft trip down Grand Canyon. We then became aware that the Grand Canyon Association, a private nonprofit organized to benefit Grand Canyon National Park, was selling a creationist book in its bookstores.
The first draft of new state science standards has been released by the Minnesota Department of Education and posted on its website. However, the version originally posted on September 9 was removed after a short time and replaced by a slightly different one. According to a September 10 report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (headlined "Squelched Standards Hedged on Evolution") the only difference between the two versions was in "(h)ow they described the teaching of evolution.
The Board of Trustees of the Roseville Joint Union High School District decided at its meeting on September 2, 2003, not to enact any district-wide policy on teaching evolution, according to the Sacramento Bee (September 7, 2003). The decision follows months of discussion on the part of the school board and activism on the part of creationists and supporters of evolution education alike.
On Friday, November 7, the Texas State Board of Education (SBoE) voted 11-4 to place all submitted high school and advanced placement (AP) biology books on the “conforming” list, making them eligible for adoption by local districts.
On November 6, 2003, the Texas Board of Education voted to place all eleven biology textbooks under consideration on the approved list, despite protests of antievolutionist groups about the treatment of evolution in the books. The 11-4 vote was preliminary, and the final vote will take place on November 7.
Washakie County School District #1 will not change its treatment of evolution. According to an Agape Press report, the board has voted 5-2 not to adopt a new policy on teaching biology. The proposed policy would have labeled evolution "only a theory and not a fact ", and continued "Teachers shall be allowed in a neutral and objective manner to introduce all scientific theories of origin and the students may be allowed to discuss all aspects of controversy surrounding the lack of scientific evidence in support of the theory of evolution "
On November 1, 2003, a statement was released urging the Texas Board of Education to resist pressure on it to undermine the treatment of evolution in biology textbooks now under consideration. Signed by over 550 Texas scientists and educators, the statement observes that "Any dilution in textbooks of the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution should sound an alarm to every parent and teacher."
An op-ed piece by Alfred Gilman, who was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in Medicine, and signed by sixteen members of the National Academy of Science and/or the Institute of Medicine, including three other Nobel laureates, appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, September 21, 2003. All of the signatories live and work in north Texas.
A standing-room-only crowd attended the hearing on biology textbooks before the Texas Board of Education in Austin on September 10. More than 160 people signed up to speak before the board, and the testimony continued into the wee hours.
On August 26 the school board of Washakie County School District #1, in Worland, Wyoming, voted to consider changing the district's policy on teaching biology. According to an Associated Press news report the proposed change reads: "It shall be the policy ... when teaching Darwin's theory of evolution that it is only a theory and not a fact.