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In its October issue, the journal Scientific American weighs in editorially on the decision by the Kansas board of education to omit references to evolution and the big-bang theory from the state science standards. The issue also contains a special report examining science education in American schools.

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"A Total Eclipse of Reason," from Scientific American, October 1999.

Editor in Chief John Rennie, in a strongly worded indictment of the Kansas board's August move, writes: "At the end of the 20th century, for an allegedly responsible governing body to endorse ignorance of evolution and modern cosmology as a more appropriate way to teach science is a grotesque perversion."

The editorial also takes the unusual step of asking educators across the country and members of college admissions boards to contact Gov. Bill Graves of Kansas, as well as individual members of the state school board, to make it clear that "this bad decision carries consequences for their children."

"If kids in Kansas aren't being taught properly about science, they won't be able to keep up with children taught competently elsewhere," Mr. Rennie concludes. "It's called survival of the fittest. Maybe the board of education needs to learn about natural selection firsthand."

Libraries Unlimited will publish a book-length report this month documenting what school librarians and media specialists have learned over the decade from an initiative aimed at making them ready for the new millennium. Begun in 1988 by the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, the National Library Power Initiative grew into the largest funding project for school libraries since the Knapp Project of the 1960s.

Lessons From Library Power: Enriching Teaching and Learning will share with practitioners the "how to" knowledge gleaned from the project by evaluators from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's schools of education and library and information sciences. The 237-page volume, with tables, charts, survey results, and case studies, sells for $35. Information is available by telephone at (800) 237-6124, ext. 1; or by e-mail at [email protected].

--Sandra Reeves

Vol. 19, Issue 7, Page 37

Published in Print: October 13, 1999, as Publications

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