Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for office address ahead of this summer’s primary elections. Based on the input we received, we developed three-item questionnaire for Republican candidates running for the Kansas State Board of Education.
We’ll be publishing the candidates’ responses to one item per day each day this week. Today we’re publishing the candidates’ responses to item three:
Should evolution be taught in Kansas public schools? Why or why not?
Evolution should be taught in Kansas public schools. Understanding evolution is a critical part of preparing students for the scientific challenges that await them. We need look no further than the current COVID pandemic to underscore the need for future scientists and researchers.
Issues of creationism and evolution have a rich and interesting history with the Kansas State Board of Education. However, the controversy of this topic has lessened as more of us understand that evolution and religion are not mutually exclusive. It is a false dichotomy to suggest those who teach and support evolution in public education are not faith-based people. In fact, when I talk with my colleagues in the science division at JCCC, the majority are people of faith, holding strong religious beliefs and values. It is of the utmost importance that we prepare Kansas students in the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and that they be prepared for post-secondary education as well as for jobs in the marketplace. That cannot happen without a foundational understanding of the natural world around them. Furthermore, removing the teaching of evidence-based science in the public school classroom will negatively impact our ability to attract and retain skilled workers and businesses.
Did not respond.