Evolution again? Hallelujah!
It's not clear if the Department of Education will have to revisit its new, evolution-embracing science standards a few years sooner than expected. But Christian activist Terry Kemple said the possibility sure sounded "providential."
"Hallelujah," he told the Gradebook after hearing the news. "This is an opportunity for both sides to step back and let this be fairer endeavor."
At issue is some overlooked wording in one of last spring's new education laws and the opinion of a key legislative staffer. The law (based on SB 1908) says the Board of Education must adopt new academic standards by 2011. And since the new science standards were passed in February, a few months before the law took effect, an attorney with the Legislature's joint Administrative Procedures Committee says the state has to do it all over again.
Does that mean the DOE has go through the same, full-blown process it did before? Nobody seems to know for sure. And the DOE isn't saying much. "We are currently researching the matter so there are no specifics to offer at this point," spokesman Tom Butler said in a written statement. "However, we stand by our current science standards and the comprehensive process that was used to develop them."
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By coincidence, Kemple said he met with area pastors this week to talk about upcoming issues, now that the fight over Amendment 2 is over. High on their to-do list: Another stab at the "academic freedom" bills that barely failed in the Legislature last year.
Ron Matus, state education reporter