Downgrading of Ohio Science Standards Just a Rumor, Optional Lesson Plan Critical of Evolution Not An Issue
January 20, 2006
Seattle – Ohio’s science standards are not going to be downgraded by an education foundation as was mistakenly reported in the Dayton Daily News and elsewhere in Ohio this week.
Chester Finn, President of the Fordham Foundation, released a statement saying: “Just to clarify, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute has no plans to revisit or alter Ohio’s (or any other state’s) grade on science standards anytime soon.”
Comments critical of Ohio’s “Critical Analysis of Evolution” lesson plan by a researcher who helped write Fordham’s report grading the state’s science standards sparked the rumors that the grade was to be lowered unless the lesson plan was withdrawn. But Fordham's president clarified that researcher Paul Gross’ comments were made in his private capacity, not as a spokesman for the Foundation and stressed that they do "NOT mean Fordham is changing the grade we gave Ohio’s generally good statewide science standards."
“Clearly this was an attempt by dogmatic Darwinists to try and scare the Ohio public into thinking the lesson plan promoting critical thinking about evolution was somehow detrimental to the state’s education standing,” said Dr. John West, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.
West added that Darwinists and some journalists were engaging in a "campaign of misinformation" to convince Ohioans that the state board of education has tried to insert intelligent design in Ohio schools.
“These claims about intelligent design being in Ohio’s science standards and model curriculum are science fiction,” said West. “In fact Ohio’s standards clearly state that they do not endorse teaching intelligent design.”
West pointed out that the voluntary Ohio lesson plan denounced by Darwinists does not discuss religion or alternative scientific theories such as intelligent design, but simply presents for students’ consideration some mainstream scientific evidence that challenges parts of Darwinian evolution. Moreover, the lesson plan is only one of ten biology lessons available.
Ohio's lesson plan on the critical analysis of evolution was created with input from a science advisory committee that included teachers, science educators, and scientists from across the state, and it was defended by a number of scientists in public testimony before the state board of education adopted it in 2004.
However, in the wake of a decision in federal district court in Pennsylvania saying intelligent design could not be required, Darwinists are now moving to censor Ohio's teaching of scientific evidence which challenges Darwinian evolution, even though Ohio has not proposed teaching anything about intelligent design in its model curriculum or science standards.
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