Ohio School Board Retreats from Creationism

A few days ago we posted about Creationists on an Ohio School Board. Two school board members in Springboro, a suburb of Dayton, were babbling crazily about trying to get the five-member board to provide for teaching creationism in their classrooms. The two outspoken creationists on the board were Kelly Kohls (head of the Warren County Tea Party) and Scott Anderson.

Today we have some follow-up. In the Dayton Daily News of Dayton, Ohio we read Vouchers could be creationism option. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

After a week of receiving letters of support, rebuke and threats of legal action from across the nation, school board member Kelly Kohls revised her position on whether Springboro schools should teach creationism. She said parents should have the choice of using state funds to send their children to other schools if they want to learn about creationism and intelligent design.

Flaming maroon! She’s a big-time Tea Party gal, but she wants to use taxpayer funds to support a creationist madrasah. Let’s read on:

Now Kohls said she doesn’t see her district moving forward with the controversial issue anytime soon. “I don’t think it is something any of us are pursuing,” Kohls said. “I think people should have options.”

Your only honorable option, Kelly, is to resign in disgrace. We continue:

Instead, Kohls would like to see expanded “school choice” and possibly vouchers for parents who want their children to learn about such topics, she said. Vouchers, which use state money to send students to parochial or private schools, are only available to parents in low-performing districts. Springboro schools are rated excellent.

So what if vouchers aren’t needed to get kids out of low-performing schools? Kelly doesn’t care; she’s apparently willing to raise taxes so kids can learn the “science” of Noah’s Ark in religious schools. She’s quite the Tea Party babe! Here’s more:

Representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the national Freedom From Religion Foundation have written Springboro school leaders, noting legal action would be imminent if the district decided to teach some form of creationism.

“It is wildly inappropriate for the religious beliefs of a few school board members to be pushed on a captive audience of public school students,” wrote Rebecca Markert, staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Her letter cites six court decisions since 1968 rejecting creationism in public schools.

Those cases are probably on this list from the National Center for Science Education: Major Cases. Kelly doesn’t care; she’s on a mission. Moving along:

“I think we have other issues more important to deal with,” said board member Mike Kruse. “No way, no how, no place should it be in public schools. I’m hoping the board would bring this to a vote and get the issue resolved.”

Sanity on a school board? That’s certainly refreshing. One more excerpt:

Two other board members, Scott Anderson and Gentry Ellis, both agreed the debate was a distraction, but said they would support an elective class on world religions similar to courses taught at the college level that would allow students to explore other beliefs about creation.

Anderson seems to have suddenly lost his creationist fervor. Ah well, these school board flair-ups are always occurring, but since the Kitzmiller case they quickly die down. This one certainly seems to be fading away. We doubt that we’ll be posting about Springboro any more.

That’s good for the kids in Ohio, but bad news for your Curmudgeon. We won’t have Springboro to kick around. No problem — we’ll find some other official idiocy to write about. There’s plenty of it out there.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Ohio School Board Retreats from Creationism

  1. but bad news for your Curmudgeon.

    But you called this. You said that in a comment on your previous post:

    Usually all it takes to stop the thing is a meeting with the board’s attorney.

    This may not have been a meeting with their attorney, but at least it was based on statements from attorneys.
    Just don’t let it go to your head.

  2. This is why I don’t support vouchers…

    So, we’re going to drain public (secular) schools of funds they desperately need and funnel it into private (religious) schools that teach nonsense and crap?

    Ha! I don’t think so!

    (Now, if we were to use vouchers to funnel kids in crap schools into *other* public schools that are doing well, then fine. All kids deserve the chance to go to a decent public school, and the fact that the poorest communities have the crappiest schools speaks of the institutionalized unfairness of funding schools from local property taxes and not from a statewide pool wherein *the exact same amount of money* goes for educating all students (with a possible adjustment for operating costs that vary from cheaper country schools to more expensive city schools– but things like computers and books cost the same everywhere).)

  3. Curmudgeon: “she’s apparently willing to raise taxes so kids can learn the ‘science’ of Noah’s Ark in religious schools.”

    I’ll say it again. I encourage the teaching of Noah’s Ark and how the evidence for it is so nonexistent that most major Biblical religions, and even some prominent anti-evolution activists, don’t take it literally. Same goes for “scientific” YEC and OEC “theories” and how they fail (as if being mutually contradictory isn’t fatal enough) and are being increasingly abandoned in favor of the ID scam that merely promotes unreasonable doubt of evolution. My only stipulation is that it is not taught in science class or paid for by taxpayers.

    As for the “Tea Party,” what we need is what it was supposed to be before it was infected by paranoid authoritarians. I would call such a pro-Enlightenment, pro-Constitution party the “Sani-Tea Party.” Of course I nominate you as the leader.

  4. Frank J says: “I nominate you as the leader.”

    Thanks, but considering my non-existent diplomatic skills, the “pro-Enlightenment, pro-Constitution” cause is far better off if I keep doing what I do here.

  5. @LRA:we’re going to drain public (secular) schools of funds they desperately need

    We spend more per student than any OECD nation but Switzerland and our academic results are at the bottom–money is not what the public schools need more of. They get more and more every year with virtually no improvement to show for it.

    http://mercatus.org/publication/k-12-spending-student-oecd

    Per student spending has nearly TRIPLED since 1965 (in real dollars).

    http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/10facts/edlite-chart.html

    In Minnesota the students are getting IPads.

    http://macdailynews.com/2010/04/17/first_us_school_goes_ipad_minnesota_district_buys_hundreds_of_apple_ipads/

    I’d prefer they learned to add fractions and how to subtract a negative number by the time they left high school and enrolled in physics classes, but that’s too much to ask of our public school system, apparently.

    We don’t have to oppose the whole concept of vouchers in order to keep the funds from going to religious schools. My wife and I have no intention of sending our children to a school that teaches creationism, but our children will not set foot in a public school.

  6. I wasn’t sure where else to put this. There are two exciting new publications on the immediate horizon, both have been endorsed by the NCSE:

    First, there’s Alan R. Rogers’s The Evidence for Evolution; University of Chicago Press, 2011:
    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/E/bo5941109.html

    …Next, there’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education from the National Research Council, which outlines “a framework that articulates a broad set of expectations for students in science,” emphasizing evolution. This framework is intended as the first step in the development of common state science education standards:
    http://ncse.com/news/2011/08/evolution-nrc-framework-006819

    Not a moment too soon. Is it too early to begin celebrating the final-stage death throes of creationism? Maybe, or maybe not! It’s at least reason enough to be cautiously optimistic. As the noose tightens, look for creationist attack articles to become increasingly desperate, erratic and hysterical in 2012. I can’t wait.

  7. early_cuyler

    “Is it too early to begin celebrating the final-stage death throes of creationism?”
    It’s been dead for years, and now is a CreoZombie, feigning life by recycling its long debunked canards, feeding on the brains of the willfully ignorant. Where is a good head shot when you need it?

  8. SC, speaking of Kelly Kohls: “…she wants to use taxpayer funds to support a creationist madrasah. ”

    Oh — that is good!

    Gabriel Hanna: “…money is not what the public schools need more of. They get more and more every year with virtually no improvement to show for it.”

    “…our children will not set foot in a public school.”

    You’re painting with a very broad brush, GH. It’s a bit like saying, “Americans are stupid. Retired Sci Guy is an American. Therefore, Retired Sci Guy must be stupid.” It may be true, but of course it doesn’t logically follow.

    There are many excellent public schools. I would guess your local schools are pretty good, since you are in a university community. If they are not, there is much that you can do as an individual to rectify the situation without having to be on the school board.

  9. SC: “Thanks, but considering my non-existent diplomatic skills..”

    They’re better than mine. I’m much too honest to ever win an election. But we desperately need someone to round up all the science-literate conservative politicians and commentators (we need more Krauthammers and fewer O’Reillys), and get them to muster the confidence to tackle this issue. Most of them probably consider it a minor issue, and not worth losing votes over. But ironically it is, in a way, the most important issue of all, because it gets to the heart of how we think – “Darwinists” generally tell the whole truth even if it hurts, “creationists” invariably pick-and-choose only what feels good, and never met a logical fallacy that they didn’t like.

    If done correctly, more votes will be gained than lost, because the % of Americans that will not vote for a pro-science candidate under any circumstances is much smaller than the % that is merely misled and/or uninterested. As you sugested on another thread, the poll results (using all the wong questions, IMO) have not changed in 30 years. But to be honest I have not seen our side do anything significant to improve those results either. Meanwhile the scam artists have been “evolving” their strategies with such determination that I’m surprised that the results have not gotten worse.

    Any takers among conservative readers? It won’t be easy of course but one has to start somewhere. “Sani-Tea Party” has a nice ring, you must admit.

  10. Frank J says ““Sani-Tea Party” has a nice ring, you must admit.”

    I don’t know, Frank. It makes me think either of antiseptic tea, or worse yet, a party where tea is being served with sanitary napkins.

    What about the “Reali-tea Party”?

  11. Frank J: “…we need more Krauthammers and fewer O’Reillys…”

    Gotta agree with you there!