State Journal

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Keeping Mum

Ohio voters want to know Gov. Bob Taft's thoughts on teaching evolution in public school science classes.

In a poll published last week by The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland, 72 percent of the 1,500 likely voters surveyed said they want the governor, who is up for re-election in November, to weigh in on that state's debate over whether schools should teach evolution or "intelligent design" theory.

Gov. Bob Taft

Advocates of the latter view say that evolutionary changes occurred so rapidly that an intelligent designer, such as God, must have intervened. They want teachers to be allowed to introduce the concept in science classes alongside evolutionary theory.

The topic is hot in Ohio these days because the state board of education must decide on new science standards by year's end. ("Debate Over Teaching of Evolution Theory Shifts to Ohio," March 20, 2002.)

The poll results, however, haven't changed the Republican governor's mind about speaking out. He insists that the matter is for the board to decide.

But his Democratic challenger, Tim Hagan, a former Cuyahoga County commissioner, has not been shy in calling for teaching only evolution.

Like Mr. Taft, the five state school board members facing re-election are generally keeping mum. The poll suggests, however, that even more people—77 percent of those polled—want to know how the board members stand on the subject.

Half the voters surveyed also said the answers they get from politicians could influence their votes.

Conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research of Washington, the poll also suggests that the idea of teaching both theories together is favored by 59 percent of those polled.

John Green, a University of Akron political scientist, says that may be because that option appeals to Ohioans' innate sense of fairness.

"They may think it's the civil and just thing to do," he said.

—Debra Viadero

Vol. 21, Issue 41, Page 21

Published in Print: June 19, 2002, as State Journal

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >