Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Kansas Evolution Election: A victory for children

[7:30 a.m. update]

By Diane Silver

To quote the Lawrence Journal-World: "Darwin won."

Sally Cauble and Jana Shaver hung onto their leads, enabling moderates to once again throw a radical religious majority off the state Board of Education. Count this as a victory for the state's schoolchildren.

Even though yesterday's vote was only a primary, a moderate majority is assured. Pro-science moderate Democrat Janet Waugh has no opposition in November. Cauble and Shaver's general election opponents both support that new-fangled thing called science.

This is the second time the religious right has taken over the Kansas board, and the second time it has been thrown out of the majority. In both cases, voters ousted the anti-evolution members the first instant they had the chance by defeating the right-wing incumbents in the primary.

This victory not only means a return to science for the state, but also a return to professionalism in the state Department of Education.

One has to wonder how long Bob Corkins will last as education commissioner. A controversial figure who often opposed funding for public education, Corkins had no education experience when he was hired by the radical majority on the board.

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