Tony Knowles on Education
2004 former Democratic Challenger for Senate (AK; previously served as Governor)
Democrat Tony Knowles said such alternatives to evolution should be kept out of science classrooms.
In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms.
Knowles was asked Thursday if he believed in a creator and, if so, how he reconciled that with evolution. A campaign spokeswoman responded, “Tony wants to stick by what he said last night -- creationism has no place in public school classrooms as an ‘alternative’ to evolution.”
KNOWLES: The answer is no. The reason why is we don’t want politics in our science. We actually want more science in our politics. We don’t want to just teach all things because it may be politically correct. We want to teach the best science there is, and there is overwhelming evidence, there’s almost incontrovertible evidence that evolution is the science that, that we know. And that’s what we should always teach, to never compromise on the principles just because it’s politically popular.
PALIN: Teach both. Don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject--creationism & evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.
KNOWLES: The federal No Child Left Behind law turned our education dream into a nightmare. Alaska’s Quality Schools Initiative was working-raising student scores and teacher standards-until the federal government imposed its one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t fit Alaska. We need to repeal these 1,200 pages of micro-management and return education decisions to our teachers, parents and school boards.
MURKOWSKI: Alaska needs flexibility from burdensome federal regulations that do nothing to improve education and threaten local control of schools. I support the goals of NCLB, but states need room to adapt NCLB to local needs-to consider growth-based models to measure yearly progress, to appropriately include disabled students in education, and flexibility in implementing the “highly qualified” teacher provisions.
Knowles said the federal “No Child Left Behind” law has undermined the best efforts of Alaskans to provide a quality education. The law is punitive to schools, degrading to teachers and puts undue stress on kids who are constantly preparing for standardized tests. The federal rules impose additional costs on schools already struggling with tight budgets. “These requirements and standards don’t work but end up costing Alaska school districts more than $1 million each year, money better spent educating kids instead of filling out federal paperwork,” Knowles said.
Principles of the Democratic Governors Association:
IMPROVING PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND INVESTING IN OUR YOUNGEST CHILDREN
Democratic Governors are leading the way with highly-trained teachers, strong standards and accountability, increased funding to repair and modernize public school facilities, access to technology and computers, and more discipline and safety in the classrooms. Democratic Governors believe the most important aspect to insure a child’s education is to have the best possible teachers in the classroom. They believe that we must value teachers as professionals, encourage their development to be the best teachers they can be for our children and compensate them accordingly. Democratic Governors favor greater parental choice, but oppose measures that weaken public schools diverting taxpayer dollars to private schools with no accountability for results. Democratic Governors around the country are also forming innovative public-private partnerships to create programs to provide early childhood education, nutrition and health care services to ensure that our children have the best possible start in life.
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