Leadership and Support Through Student Learning
|State education agency overview|
|Formed||January 14, 1969|
|Preceding State education agency||
|Jurisdiction||State of Kansas|
|Headquarters||120 SE 10th Ave
|State education agency executive||
|Parent department||State of Kansas|
Kansas State Department Board of Education (KSDE) is Kansas's Board of Education, headquartered in Topeka. The board of education that controls the department is a constitutional body established in Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution. The ten members of the Board of Education are each elected to four-year terms. The Board helps determine educational policy for the state's primary and secondary schools.
The Kansas State Board of Education was created to replace the position of Kansas State Superintendent of Public Instruction effective January 14, 1969, pursuant to an amendment to the Kansas Constitution adopted November 8, 1966.
There has been a controversy regarding the status of creationism and evolution in the Kansas public education system, which is also the subject of a great deal of debate in the legal, political, and religious arenas.
In 1999, the Board ruled that instruction about evolution, the age of the earth, and the origin of the universe was permitted, but not mandatory, and that those topics would not appear on state standardized tests. The board relied heavily on Creation Science Association of Mid America material in constructing science standards that minimized the tuition of evolution. However, the Board reversed this decision February 14, 2001, ruling that instruction of all those topics was mandatory and that they would appear on standardized tests.
Then on August 9, 2005, the Board approved a draft of science curriculum standards that mandated equal time for the theories of "evolution" and "intelligent design". But February 13, 2007, the Board voted 6 to 4 to reject the amended science standards enacted in 2005. The definition of science was once again limited to "the search for natural explanations for what is observed in the universe", or what is known as "methodological naturalism".