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Republican Pennridge School Board Director Wants Students to Be Taught Creationism

Jordan Blomgren wants to make “sure that we're showing both sides.” Local parent Laura Foster responded, “That’s for a Christian school, not a public school.”
bible science
In 2013, pro-science supporters rallied before a Texas Board of Education public hearing on proposed new science textbooks. AP Photo.

During a Pennridge curriculum committee meeting on Monday, school board Director Jordan Blomgren requested that “both sides” should be presented to students about evolution and climate change, stunning onlookers.

Blomgren’s comment was made during a presentation detailing curriculum that will meet Pennsylvania’s requirements for the instruction of Science, Technology, and Engineering, and Environmental Literacy and Sustainability (STEELS). 

“My question always comes down to the content,” said Blomgren, who is also a teacher in the neighboring Souderton Area School District. “Like, you know [the] Earth’s been around for billions of years. Are you talking about both creation and evolution, like just having both…making sure that we’re showing both sides.”

READ: The Independence Law Center Seeks to Impose its Biblical Worldview on Pennsylvania School Districts

During the evening’s final public comment period, Laura Foster, a local parent and co-founder of RIDGE Network, said she doesn’t understand why Blomgren is monopolizing the conversation since she isn’t a member of the curriculum committee.

“My kids are heavy into STEM,” Foster said. “I don’t want them to be ill-prepared because Jordan wants to take up space complaining about fossils. I really don’t want my kids to be taught creationism. That’s for a Christian school, not a public school.”

Lauren Bradley, co-founder of RIDGE Network, took to FaceBook to express her outrage at the suggestion of teaching creationism and how far-right operatives try to deny climate change.

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The United States Supreme Court, in Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987), ruled that a Louisiana law that mandated instruction in “creation science” whenever evolution was taught in public schools violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. 

Closer to home, ACLU Pennsylvania represented 11 parents in a 2004 lawsuit, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, who objected to a policy that required the teaching of intelligent design in biology classes as an alternative to evolution.

“Teaching students about religion’s role in world history and culture is proper, but disguising a particular religious belief as science is not,” said ACLU of Pennsylvania Legal Director Witold Walczak. “Intelligent design is a Trojan Horse for bringing religious creationism back into public school science classes.”

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled for the parents and against the York County school district and issued a scathing opinion.

READ: Pennridge School District Must Acknowledge Creationism Is Not Science

It should also be noted that there are no standardized tests in K-12 public schools or college entry exams that include any questions about creationism.

Results of the state’s mandatory civics exam, administered to eighth-grade students attending the district’s South, Central and North middle schools, were also announced at Monday’s school board curriculum committee meeting. For the first time, 100 percent of students achieved passing scores, with a little more than 25 percent obtaining a perfect score.

AD 4nXdbhO I2FecwsMOJPQmWL33CEkiiha8l2 amsrL7LpxdN1SK0B19bJ6hvK3LXA6TzPMxwJ5xtlui4bPpUYmjtVIT lww3UF5UAchW2hZ2JCxGflt9dsT wYUCpVtKw 3SQpaAkDbFK1PeQQwEDyyoryCsaF?key=kf0MlgeSpj8S cXQgfD sw - Bucks County Beacon - Republican Pennridge School Board Director Wants Students to Be Taught Creationism

The civics exam is the result of legislation passed by the state’s general assembly in 2018.

Pennsylvania Act 35 of 2018 established that “each school entity shall administer at least once to students during grades seven through twelve a locally developed assessment of U.S. history, government and civics that includes the nature, purpose, principles and structure of U.S. constitutional democracy, the principles, operations and documents of U.S. government and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship,” beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.

The results of this year’s civics exam reflect, especially for students who have been enrolled in Pennridge since first grade, proof that students, teachers and the curriculum are meeting – and in some cases exceeding – educational goals and expectations.

The high marks should put an end to any controversy that the district needed an audit of its curriculum content by Jordan Adams, or his one-man company Vermilion Education..

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Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in the Philadelphia area.

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