Bad News: KBOE member Willard to be next Prez of NASBE

May 20, 2007 at 1:22 am | Posted in Policy | Leave a comment

This story in The New York Times was brought to my attention by a friend who posted it at the KCFS discussion board. Apparently anti-science Kansas Board of Education member Kenneth Willard is lined up to be the next president of the National Association of State Boards of Education, which is explained by The New York Times here:

The group, based in Washington, is a nonprofit organization of state school boards whose Web site (www.nasbe.org) says it “works to strengthen state leadership in educational policymaking.”

This is the first I’ve heard of this board. I have no idea what kind of power it has or its structure (how much power the president has over the board). I’ve searched their site for all references of evolution and a got 14 hits, many on their blog where they simply report policy changes and election results in very objective language. I’ve found nothing that says science education is listed as an agenda on the board’s website, I also have no reference of their recent history so I don’t really know how big of a problem this is. But Dr. Kenneth R. Miller, professor at Brown University and author of Finding Darwin’s God, is quoted in the article:

“We are in a nationwide struggle for the integrity of science education,” Professor Miller said, “and any situation that provides an opportunity for the opponents of science education to advance their agenda is a matter of concern.”

I respect and trust Dr. Miller, so if he’s concerned, I’m concerned. Apparently, in order to qualify for the position that Willard is now running unopposed for you have to have held a seat in a school board at the state level. Elections are in July.

As pointed out to me by the world famous Liz Craig, the time for nominations has passed and the organization does not allow for write-ins. Prepare yourself for another national circus.

Stories about this situation can be found at Evolving in Kansas.

 

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