In August of 1999 the Kansas State Board of Education made a now-infamous decision. Local school districts, they ruled, could omit evolutionary theory from the curriculum. Ever since, the state's science standards have been the subject of heated debate and international ridicule. A turning point in the debacle occurred last fall, however, when voters gave the boot to two anti-evolution board members. And when the board convened yesterday, they overturned the controversial curriculum, reinstating evolution as a key scientific principle in a 7-3 vote.
With the new standards in place, tests given to students this spring will include questions on evolution. "Teachers and scientists are very pleased that the Kansas Board of Education made the right decision," Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education told Reuters. "It will show other states and communities around the country that backing good science education is the politically smart thing to do, as well as the educationally smart thing to do."