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Anti-Darwinist is national school board shoo-in

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 21, 2007 | 3:18 pm

There is one person running for president-elect of the National Association of State Boards of Education, the NY Times reports—a member of the Kansas school board who supported efforts to not teach evolution.

The candidate is Kenneth R. Willard, a Kansas Republican who voted with the conservative majority in 2005 when the school board changed the state’s science standards to allow inclusion of intelligent design, an ideological cousin of creationism. Voters later replaced that majority, but Mr. Willard, an insurance executive from Hutchinson, retained his seat. If he becomes president-elect of the national group, he will take office in January 2009.

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.”

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“We don’t set curriculum standards or anything like that,” Mr. Willard said of the national organization, adding that it handled issues like advising state boards on how to deal with governance concerns or influxes of immigrant students or ways to raise academic achievement among members of disadvantaged groups.

He said, though, that he personally thought students should be taught about challenges to the theory of evolution, like intelligent design. And while he said he had not heard of a possible challenge to his candidacy, Mr. Willard added that he was not surprised by it.

“Some people are mindless about their attacks on anyone questioning anything Darwin might have said,” Mr. Willard said.

 

As I’ve written before, plenty of scientists—though not the majority—see no conflict between evolution and the creation of life by God above.

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