An anti-evolution group filed a federal lawsuit last week to block Kansas from using new, multistate science standards in its public schools, arguing the guidelines promote atheism and violate students’ and parents’ religious freedom.
The group, Citizens for Objective Public Education, had criticized the standards, developed by Kansas, 25 other states, and the National Research Council, for treating both evolution and climate change as key scientific concepts to be taught from kindergarten through 12th grade. The Kansas state board of education adopted them in June.
The lawsuit is against the state board, its 10 members, Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker, and the state department of education. Officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The case is the latest chapter in a long-running debate in Kansas over what to teach students about 19th-century naturalist Charles Darwin’s theories on evolution and subsequent scientific developments.
A version of this article appeared in the October 02, 2013 edition of Education Week as Kansas Group Aims to Block Use of Science Standards