When I began teaching in September 2001, in a public high school in Goddard, Kansas, my new colleagues were still sighing with relief. Just two years earlier, the Kansas State Board of Education had effectively diluted the treatment of evolution in the state science standards. Fortunately, the reaction from the electorate was swift. In February 2001, the composition of the board had changed in an election, and the previous, more complete, treatment of evolution had been restored.

Unfortunately, in 2005, the composition of the board changed again, and a new set of state science standards, rewritten under the guidance of local creationists to misrepresent evolution as scientifically controversial, were adopted. Thankfully, however, the voters again expressed displeasure, and the composition of the board changed once again. In 2007, the board adopted a set of standards treating evolution in a scientifically responsible and pedagogically appropriate way.

My colleagues and I didn’t...

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