Copyrights Force Kansas to Rewrite Science Standards
Witham, Larry, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
The Kansas Board of Education yesterday directed the state commissioner of education to rewrite a set of science standards so they do not violate copyrights owned by three science organizations in Washington.
The board stirred national controversy in August when it voted 6-4 not to test students on Darwinian evolution and the ancient universe. The Kansas Science Standards were based in part on the National Science Education Standards.
The National Academy of Science, which holds the copyright to that document, last month refused permission for the Kansas standards to use its material because they "effectively eliminated consideration of any aspects of evolution that examine origins of the Earth and life and processes that may give rise to the formation of new species."
The Kansas Board of Education yesterday voted 6-4 for the commissioner "to see that the rewording is completed in an expedient manner" and then cleared by a copyright lawyer, said spokeswoman Kathy Toelkes.
That means that the Kansas board will keep its dilution of evolution in the standards while avoiding a copyright infringement with the National Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Teachers Association.
"We had asked them to delete the document's reference to the three organizations," said Gerry Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association.
"If they wanted to use that material, they would have had to put back the original text [on evolution]," Mr. …