Indiana State Senators Jeff Raatz and Dennis Kruse are sponsoring a bill, Senate Bill 562, that will allow Creationism and climate change-denial to make their way into the classroom.
Of course, they don’t say that explicitly:
[The bill] Requires the state board of education, the department of education, governing bodies of school corporations, superintendents, principals, and other public school administrators to: (1) endeavor to create an environment within public schools that encourages students to explore questions, learn about evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to different conclusions and theories concerning subjects that have produced differing conclusions and theories on some topics; and (2) allow a teacher to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of conclusions and theories being presented in a course being taught by the teacher.
Kruse tried passing a similar bill in 2012 to no avail.
To be clear, students can already “explore questions” in class and teachers should make a good faith attempt to provide answers. Furthermore, science is all about asking questions. But that’s not what this law is about. The purpose is to make it possible to sneak Creationist and other anti-science ideas into public school classes under the guise of “teaching the controversy,” not discussing actual scientific controversies (which no one has a problem with).
“Here they go again,” groaned Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, an Oakland-based group.
“Sen. Kruse said he’d be back, and he wasn’t lying,” Branch said. “I suppose that I have to admit to a degree of exasperation.”
“Could it be seen as an anti-evolution bill? Could be,” Raatz said. “That doesn’t bother me at all. Essentially, we’re saying there are competing theories and we should allow the discussion in the classroom. Not to promote anything or one over another. But that we should have the ability to discuss.”
That’s a sneaky way to disguise the real intent, says Branch.
Both Raatz and Kruse are members of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, where this bill will land. Kruse is the chairman of that committee.
Hopefully, it’ll get stopped before it does any real damage.
(Thanks to Zion for the link)