On August 11, 1999, the Kansas State Board of Education removed evolution and other non-biblical scientific principles from their Science Education Standards Test. Now, high school students in Kansas may receive a perfect score on this test without any understanding of evolution. Public school educators in Kansas, who are partially rated by their student's performance on this test, have removed evolution, the Big Bang and references to geologic time scale from their curriculum. Textbooks are being edited to remove any references to fossils, the formation of rocks and minerals, etc.
The action by the Kansas SBOE was not inspired by any reservations about problems of proof or of fairness in teaching all sides of the issue, but out of a desire to replace science with biblical studies. Any alleged problems with evolution must be dealt with in an open scientific environment, not by censoring scientific discussion. Few scientists have any problem with the teaching of creationism, so long as it is limited to theology classes and, hopefully, the Christian creation myth is compared to the creation myths of other religions, Mesopotamian and American Indian, for example. The problem with the SBOA action is that Science has been replaced with biblical studies.
As a result of the new education standards, public school students in Kansas do not have adequate preparation for a college career. Like a potential history major who has never studied American history or a potential literature major who has only read romance novels, Kansas students are unprepared for the intellectual challenges that will confront them in the California University system.
I urge you to maintain the high standards required for admission into any of the Universities of California and adopt a policy of not considering applications from public high school students from Kansas. Additional information on this subject is available from the Kansas Citizens for Science at http://www.kcfs.org. I would appreciate a response including your thoughts and how you intend to address this issue.
J. Adam Barnes, 1993 UCR
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