You are here
In Minnesota, Senate File 2994 was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate on May 20, 2006, but without the provision that would have prohibited the state department of education and local school districts from "utilizing a nonscientifically based curriculum, such as intelligent design, to meet the required science academic standards under this section." The Senate approved a version of the omnibus education bill with that pro
Just before the omnibus education bill, Senate File 2994, was approved by the Minnesota state senate by a 39-27 vote on May 15, 2006, it was amended to provide, "Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the Department of Education, a charter school, and a school district are prohibited from utilizing a nonscientifically based curriculum, such as intelligent design, to meet the required science academic standards under this section." The amendment was proposed by Senator Lawr
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.
On March 4, the proposed Minnesota science standards were approved by the House Education Policy Committee when it voted 18-12 to pass House file 2558. Most of the debate over HF 2558 centered on the contentious social science standards; according to the Saint Paul Pioneer-Press, the science standards "generated little discussion during the two-hour debate. The bill still has several committee stops before it reaches the House floor. The Senate Education Committee has not yet taken any votes on the science or social studies standards."
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.
According to a July 8, 2003, broadcast on Minneapolis television channel WCCO, Education Commissioner Cheri Peterson Yecke, who is in charge of choosing committee members to draft Minnesota’s science education standards, is citing the Santorum “amendment” as grounds for including “a higher power creating life alongside evolution”.
Even before the committee that will draft Minnesota’s new science standards has been assembled, creationism has already become news.
WCCO Channel 4 News in the Twin Cities has posted a story on its web site about the drafting of new standards, which mentions the potential upcoming controversy over the science standards.
The complete story can be found here. [Link has expired]
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.
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.