|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
NCSE Announces Adoption of West Virginia Science Standards
On February 20, 2003 the West Virginia Board of Education voted to adopt
new science standards developed over the past year. The vote to approve
the draft standards without any of the changes proposed by supporters of
"intelligent design theory" was unanimous. Evolution features
importantly in the new guidelines, which are based on frameworks
suggested by the National Academy of Sciences and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science.
Opponents of evolution education, including local creation science
organizations, the West Virginia American Family Association, and
Intelligent Design Network (IDnet, based in Kansas) had objected to the
proposed standards and attempted to convince the Board to make
significant changes. IDnet in particular sent several very long letters
to the Board. Two IDnet leaders presented an "Intelligent Design
symposium" and met or spoke several times with Board members and staff
of the Department of Education. In the end, the Board decided not to
make any changes in the draft standards.
Jody Cunningham, president of the West Virginia Science Teachers
Association, commented after the decision: "In a courageous move the
Board voted to reject all attempts by Intelligent Design Network to
weaken our Content Standards. It was exciting to hear the Board give
full support to the standards. They were not changed in any way. We
were able to reject any attempt to weaken or even to insert a phrase
that was not placed in the standards by the teachers of West Virginia."
W. Eric Meikle, Ph.D.
National Center for Science Education
420 40th St., Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510 601-7203 x307
510 601-7204 (fax)
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker