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Science texts are OK, agency say

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  • Chris Ashcraft
    Charleston Daily Mail (6-28-01) Science texts are OK, agency say Mother says facts about evolution are incorrect Carrie Smith
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2001
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      Charleston Daily Mail (6-28-01)

      Science texts are OK, agency say

      Mother says facts about evolution are incorrect

      Carrie Smith <mailto:csmith@...>
      Daily Mail staff

      The state Department of Education has ruled that
      Kanawha County's
      seventh-grade science textbooks accurately present
      various theories of
      evolution despite a South Charleston mother's attempts
      to have warning
      labels
      placed on certain pages. Patty Pulliam filed a
      grievance against the
      Kanawha
      County school board late last year, claiming that the
      board was
      violating a
      state policy that requires classroom materials to be
      current and
      contain
      factual information. A county curriculum specialist,
      the local
      superintendent
      and the county board all denied her request for
      disclaimers. Acting on
      behalf
      of about 40 cosigners, Pulliam appealed the local
      board's decision at
      the
      state level last month.The decision that was handed
      down this week
      stated
      that it is practically impossible to publish a science
      book that was
      completely without error because new scientific
      information is being
      discovered every day. They also said students in
      science classes should
      be
      taught to examine data critically and to consider both
      favorable and
      opposing
      theories on evolution. Numerous science textbooks were
      selected by the
      state
      textbook committee last year and a list to choose from
      was given to the
      counties. Each county had its own selection process
      from that list with
      citizens, teachers and experts reviewing the
      materials. Local school
      boards
      made the final decision. "I think the book contains
      purposeful
      misrepresentations of fact," Pulliam said. "And now it
      seems like they
      are
      pushing it off on teachers and telling them they have
      to make these
      mistakes
      right. "Pulliam said she discovered several pages in
      one book in the
      five-book Prentice Hall series contained evolution
      inaccuracies while
      she was
      previewing materials her sixth-grade daughter would be
      using when she
      went to
      middle school in the fall. "The whole reason I got
      involved in this in
      the
      first place was for my child," she said. "I just
      didn't want her being
      taught
      wrong information. "In addition to the warning labels,
      Pulliam also
      asked
      that consultants be brought into to train the teachers
      and supplemental
      materials that challenge the information in the
      textbooks be provided.
      Bob
      Seymour, a science curriculum specialist for Kanawha
      County, said
      teachers
      are already trained to handle the various theories of
      evolution and
      that it
      is only a small part of what is taught during the
      seventh-grade
      year."Our
      teachers have been doing a good job for years," he
      said. "I'm not
      worried
      about them, and I'm not worried about the books. The
      nature of science
      is to
      investigate phenomenon and nothing in science is
      absolutely 100 percent
      correct, otherwise, it would be math. "But he said
      also encourages
      parents to
      talk with their child's teacher at the beginning of
      the school year or
      any
      time there might be a problem. Pulliam said she's done
      fighting, but
      hopes
      that someone else will take up the cause. "This isn't
      by any means
      over," she
      said. "Evolution continues to be an issue all over the
      country, and
      it's not
      going away."

      =====
      Chris Ashcraft
      Creation Science Resource
      http://www.geocities.com/ashcrac

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