Kentucky lawmakers wanted to make sure that their high school students were well-prepared to go to colleges, whether in-state or out-of-state. Specifically, they wanted to be sure that the end-of-high-school tests were in parity with the national norms. That's a good thing, a responsible thing, for lawmakers to be concerned about.
So to that end, the Kentucky lawmakers asked themselves a question: "Just what are the things a Kentucky high school student needs to know in order to be competitive in colleges across the nation?" So they consulted ACT, the company that prepares standardized tests all over the country.
Aaaaand….. that's where they ran into a problem:
"Republicans did want the end-of-course tests tied to national norms; now they're upset because when ACT surveyed biology professors across the nation, they said students have to have a thorough knowledge of evolution to do well in college biology courses," said Rep. Carl Rollins, D-Midway, chairman of the House Education Committee.
*Crash and burn sound effect*
What's a GOP state legislature to do?
Well, first they went to ACT and asked if they could tailor a standardized national test just for Kentucky that wouldn't include evolution. But, alas, they were told that it would be too expensive… and also — not to state the obvious — but it wouldn't really be a standardized test anymore.
And there it is. Kentucky students, you are doomed.
And here's the reasoning why the Republicans in the Kentucky legislature is against including evolution in the curriculum. Hold on to your hats:
Another committee member, Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, said he had a problem with evolution being an important part of biology standards.
"The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up," Waide said. "My objection is they should ensure whatever scientific material is being put forth as a standard should at least stand up to scientific method. Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny."
Now, who do you think is better equipped to determine whether the theory of evolution has stood up to scientific scrutiny — scientists, or Ben Waide?