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by Eugenie C. Scott
On January 7, 2002, the US Supreme Court denied the appeal of Minnesota teacher Rodney LeVake to have his case for teaching "evidence against evolution" heard at the highest level. Mr. LeVake has no further appeals.
Science Excellence for All Ohioans, listed on their web site as a project of the American Family Association of Ohio, has posted on its web site a list of changes it would like to see incorporated into the new Ohio Science Standards. The purpose of the changes is to bring intelligent design into the science curriculum as a “viable alternative explanation for both the origin and diversity of life”.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Authorization Act which is headed for the President's signature does not contain the antievolution "Santorum amendment", though there is brief mention of the topic of evolution in explanatory materials appended to the law. The good news for teachers is that they will not have to teach evolution any differently as a result of the new legislation.
BackgroundSince the summer of 2001, a joint Senate-House conference committee has attempted to resolve the House and Senate versions of the Elementary and
On November 15, 2001, the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) unanimously approved the latest version of the Science and Technology education standards proposed by the state’s Board of Education (BoE). This is the last step before adoption and implementation of the standards, which will be reviewed again in five years.
by Eric Meikle
The Alabama State Board of Education voted on November 8, 2001 to require that a statement referring to evolution as controversial be inserted in science textbooks. Since 1995 an evolution disclaimer (see below) has been pasted in Alabama's state-approved texts. Early this year the Board of Education adopted a new K-12 science education framework, the Alabama Course of Study: Science (ACOSS). Some observers had thought that Board might simply drop the previous disclaimer, given changes in ACOSS since 1995.
Minnesota school teacher Rodney LeVake sued his Faribault, MN, school district over his claim of a right to teach "evidence against evolution" and intelligent design theory. He lost in Minnesota district court, and lost at the state appeals court level. He has recently filed to appeal his case to the US Supreme Court. NCSE will keep you informed.
Pennsylvania's proposed new science education standards have been approved by both the House and Senate Education Committees. This final revision does not contain the potentially anti-evolution language originally contained in the draft standards. NCSE members and others opposed to opening the door for teaching of creationism in public schools have worked for more than a year to remove this ambiguity from the standards.
Representatives of nearly one hundred scientific societies and organizations have signed a letter asking Congress not to adopt the "Santorum Amendment" as part of the revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act now under consideration. The letter asks the House-Senate conference committee to remove a Senate resolution, sponsored by Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, which singles out evolution as a controversial theory.
On August 13, 2001 the Lafayette School Corporation board was asked by a Jefferson High School chemistry teacher to remove a formal reprimand placed in his personnel file by the district's superintendent last September. The reprimand accused the teacher "of teaching religion through creationism in a classroom setting" according to a Lafayette Journal and Courier account.