Kansas creationism survey23 Oct 2009
According to a Fort Hays State University poll, Kansas may be headed for another crisis in science education:
A majority of respondents, 53 percent, said they favored teaching both evolution and creationism in the public schools, while 18 percent said that neither theory should be taught. The remaining respondents were evenly divided between wanting one or the other of the theories taught exclusively.
If the remainder are really “equally divided”, that makes two-thirds in favor of teaching creationism, and one-third against teaching evolution at all.
Louise Mead and Anton Mates examined the present science standards nationwide, giving each state a score based on the representation and support in the curriculum for evolutionary biology (“Why Science Standards are Important to a Strong Science Curriculum and How States Measure Up”). The article is open access and it’s a valuable source for people interested in biology education.
I bring it up, because Kansas right now has one of the strongest biology curricula in the nation, one of only 10 states to earn an “A” according to the survey’s criteria. By contrast, Wisconsin has a “D”.
But of course, in addition to a strong written curriculum, a state needs support for science teachers to attain the mastery and continued updated training in scientific concepts and practice. It’s one thing to espouse support for effective biology education, and another to provide the tools that make that education happen.