The Santorum Senate Resolution

What it is, and what you should know about it.

On January 8, 2002, the important Elementary and Secondary Education Bill, H.R.1, more commonly known as the "No Child Left Behind Education Act," was signed into law (P. L. 107-110) by President George W. Bush. In the process of passing this bill, the Senate approved the following resolution introduced by Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) by a vote of 91-8:

It is the sense of the Senate that good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science; and where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why the subject generates so much continuing controversy, and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject.

Because a similar version of the resolution did not appear in the House version of the bill, the Santorum Resolution was included in the Congressional Conference Report for the NCLB Act, under the "Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference" in Title I, Part A, as item 78. Item 78 says:

The conferees recognize that a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society.


Reference

Government Support for the Santorum Language

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