Kansas decision will leave students with insufficient skills to enter an increasingly technological world

AAAS Condemns Kansas Decision and Offers Web Site on Evolution

Washington, DC (October 26, 1999) The recent ruling by the Kansas Board of Education will prevent students from gaining the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a world that relies increasingly on science and technology, said the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in a resolution passed by its Board of Directors that condemns the decision. The Kansas ruling will also make it more difficult for Kansas to attract quality science teachers, AAAS warned.

"Events in Kansas regarding the teaching of fundamental concepts and evidence about evolution and cosmology should concern all people committed to education excellence in science," said Stephen Jay Gould, Alexander Agassiz professor of zoology at Harvard University and AAAS president. "These events encroach upon the professional judgment of dedicated teachers, and strongly compromise the education that informed and responsible citizens need to receive to participate fully in our increasingly technological world."

The new standards in Kansas do not forbid the teaching of evolution and cosmology, but the subjects will no longer be included in statewide tests for evaluating students. Scientists and educators fear that as a result the teaching of evolution will de diluted or eliminated completely in some schools.

"The American Association for the Advancement of Science deplores the recent decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to remove references to evolution and cosmology from its state education standards and assessments, thereby making central principles for the scientific understanding of the universe and its history optional subjects for science education," the AAAS resolution states. "This decision by the Board is a serious disservice to students and teachers in the State of Kansas."

The AAAS resolution warns that the Kansas boards decision will make it difficult f

Contact: Tiffany Ayers
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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