House Bill 484
(2002) would require that both houses
of the General Assembly approve Ohio Science Standards
The 124th Ohio General Assembly (2001 - 2002) Education Committee is currently considering a bill that would require both houses of the Ohio General Assembly to approve the science standards that the State Board of Education (SBE) adopts. This bill is great news for the citizens of Ohio, because it helps to reverse the damage done to our rights in 2000 by the passage of HB711 by the 1999-2000 General Assembly.
In 2000, HB711 was railroaded into law over the objections of many people who testified against it before the SBE. SBE President (at that time) Martha Wise and Dr. George Tombaugh, Executive Assistant on Education to Governor Taft were the only witnesses who testified in favor of HB711. NO ONE from the general public supported the bill. More than 45 citizens requested to testify in opposition to HB711. 14 opponents were actually given the opportunity to provide speak.
HB711 essentially reduced the number of SBE members that could be elected by the citizens of Ohio, and allowed Governor Taft to appoint a greater percentage of them. This had the effect of allowing Governor Taft to seize more control over the SBE, and it reduced the control that Ohio citizens had over the curriculum and testing standards. The end result was that blatant pro-evolutionism language was added to the 12th grade proficiencies, and the censorship against the mountains of scientific arguments and evidence against evolutionism was allowed to continue.
Now, some members of the SBE are trying to make matters even worse with the proposed new 2002 Ohio Science Academic content Standards. In these new standards, the censorship of the opposing views to evolutionism continues. So does the blatant bias in favor of Naturalism and Materialism. Current SBE Board members Deborah Owens Fink and Virgil e. Brown, Jr. are fighting hard for the citizens of Ohio for the introduction of Intelligent Design Theory to be added to the curriculum and testing standards. If they are successful, this would finally bring balance to the treatment of the issue of origins in Ohio schools.
We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Owens and Mr. Brown, and any other SBE board member that is involved in these heroic efforts to stand up for the rights of Ohio citizens. They are doing so in the face of an onslaught of criticism and pressure from those who want the censorship to continue, and who want academic freedom to continue to be suppressed. Please contact these SBE board members and let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing for YOUR rights.
Because so many members of the SBE have in the past demonstrated such a callous disregard towards the public on this issue, a bill like HB 484 is necessary. You can bet that the evolutionists here in Ohio (and whoever they can recruit outside of Ohio) are going to fight the passage of this bill tooth and nail. Here's a comment about this bill from an evolutionist who is one of those who are leading the charge against Intelligent Design here in Ohio, and who in the past has enjoyed considerable one-sided influence over the SBE:"
"As if that is not enough, there is also word about 2 proposed bills likely to be introduced this week. Representative Linda Reidelbach (R-Columbus) will introduce a bill requiring equal time for either ID or evidences against evolution whenever evolution is taught. As many will recognize, this is the old Ron Hood bill with a new sponsor. The other word is Representative Jamie Callender (R-Willowick in Lake County; Chair, House Education Committee) will introduce bill that will change Senate Bill #1 and require that the science standards (and maybe others) go directly to the General Assembly for approval before they go to the State Board of Education. Senate Bill #1, as I understand it, esquires the state Supt. to REPORT the standards to the General Assembly AFTER the State Board approves them. This would give the General Assembly broad power to approve, disapprove or change the science standards however they wish to!"
Note: "esquires the state" is exactly how it was worded in the original message. Nothing in the message was altered.
As you can see, the evolutionists are quite concerned about HB 484. In the past, they have enjoyed a near monopoly of influence over the Ohio SBE. The passage of this bill has the potential to undermine that power base. It will also have two other positive benefits for Ohio citizens:
We are profoundly grateful to the House members who sponsored HB 484, and are encouraging all citizens of Ohio to throw their full support behind it. To contact your House of Representative member to express your support for HB 484, visit this link:
For those who are following media coverage of this bill (and for that matter anything related to this debate), be discerning about what you see and hear. The media in general has a long history of misleading, highly-biased reporting on this issue. The Columbus Dispatch is especially bad about this. Thankfully there are a few editors and journalists who still try to be unbiased, and we appreciate their efforts, but they are exceptionally rare individuals.
To contact the sponsors of HB 484 to thank them for introducing this important bill, visit these links (listed in alphabetical order):
Jim Aslanides (R)