PHOENIX – The state Board of Education on Monday rejected an offer from school principal Diane Douglas to adopt standards for public schools developed by a Christian college in Arizona.
But whether schools can be licensed to use Hillsdale College standards remains an open question. Several board members said it might be appropriate to have this as an option for schools that choose not to follow the history, social studies and science standards that the board has adopted, by 6 votes to 4.
What is clear is that the new standards incorporate some last minute changes proposed by the Arizona Science Teachers Association. The most notable change includes a clear statement that “the unity and diversity of organisms, living and extinct, are the result of evolution”.
These standards “will protect science teachers from teaching unscientific ideas,” said Sara Torres, executive director of the Arizona Science Teachers Association.
Douglas, a member of the Board of Education, lost her candidacy for re-election as state superintendent of public education in the Republican primary and will step down at the end of the year.
Douglas said she personally believes in the idea of ”smart design”. Her proposed changes to education standards did not mention this concept, but she said it was wrong to teach evolution as a fact.