Textbook Battle in Texas

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The Texas State Board of Education has nominated several well-known creationists to review high school biology textbooks. Our friends at the amazing and indefatigable Texas Freedom Network have written with alarmabout this developing situation. The state board, after hearing from their reviewers, will vote this November to adopt certain science textbooks for Texas’ vast market. Such texts must meet the problematic standards the SBOE adopted in the contentious 2009 hearings, and “could be in the state’s public school science classrooms for nearly a decade.”  (That high school science texts are so woefully out of date is a problem I’ll address in a later post.)


TFN notes:

Among the six creationist reviewers are some of the nation’s leading opponents of teaching students that evolution is established, mainstream science and is overwhelmingly supported by well over a century of research …

… That relatively small overall number of reviewers could give creationists even stronger influence over textbook content. In fact, publishers are making changes to their textbooks based on objections they hear from the review panelists. And that’s happening essentially behind closed doors because the public isn’t able to monitor discussions among the review panelists themselves or between panelists and publishers.

Efforts to illuminate these unforthcoming proceedings have not yielded results; TFN reports that “no documents or correspondence have yet been turned over to TFN in response to our open records requests.”

We do not yet know how much textbook conflict will occur this fall. But given the long history of contentious textbook adoptions in Texas (just google “Gablers”), there is the potential for a spectacle. Much depends on how literally board members interpret the 2009 science standards.

 

Written By: Steven Newton
continue to source article at ncse.com

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  1. Time to rush those new Texan texts on alchemy, divination, exorcism and witch-detection into print! Act now to meet the huge demand for education in these subjects when the plague breaks out, the wells go dry, the cattle die and the rains don’t come! Free prayer knee-pads and cat-o’-nine tails for self-flagellation with every bulk order!

    • In reply to #3 by obzen:

      Texas State Board of Education

      It all becomes clear.

      Given the usual level of illiteracy of YECs, they probably thought that two short planks could be substituted for the “board”!

  2. Sad to say this appears common even here in Australia which is a much more secular population than parts of the USA. I checked all our school textbooks across my school and found no direct mention of Evolution or Charles Darwin. Intead weasle words were used like adaptation etc. This is simply padering to the increasing numbers of fundermentalist religious based private schools that are cropping up in an attempt by successive governments to have Australians happily hand over their hard earned cash to commercial institutions for things that the governement once provided for free (that is what we once funded through taxes). This will continue to be a problem while we refuse to pay a decent amount of tax.

    • In reply to #6 by Roedy:

      I hope somebody is tracking the economic decline of Texas as a function of the destruction of its education system.

      Speak of the devil. Perry is copying his friend, Kansas gov Sam Brownback, by taking advantage of Missouri’s higher taxes. Sure it’s a dog eat dog world, but curses on them just the same. They are like hyenas in a coordinated hunt.

  3. Another take

    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
    ~ Napoléon Bonaparte 1769-08-15 1821-05-05

    Texas is my least favourite state. The people there are bellicose, anti-environment, into conspicuous consumption, racist, Christian, not to mention they butcher the English language.

    By dismantling their education system, it is as if they are giving each other lobotomies. This has to result in Texas becoming poorer, and less influential, and there being fewer Texans.

  4. They have sold their mineral rights to the speculators and oil companies, so now they are selling their children’s brains to the woo-peddlers. – Free-market business is free market business … and there is one born every minute!

  5. How, in a modern western democracy in 2013, can this debate even exist?

    Can’t you just give all the fuckwit Luddites their own state, surround it with border controls, and let Darwinianism take its natural course?

    (Alternatively, say “oops, sorry” and give Texas back to Mexico, from whom is was – largely – illegally stolen in the first place).

  6. Asking creationists to review science books ,is as illogical as asking Islamic clerics to review the Torah or Talmut.
    Sooner or later common sense will prevail and creationists will be the subject of worldwide scorn!

  7. This year sees the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, when viscious reactionary right wing extremist nutters in Texas were very much involved in matters political in that State; plus ca change.

    Kennedy was shot from within the Texas School Book Depository by a member of its staff; what do they teach down there?

  8. YECs reviewing science textbooks ? Dear oh dear ! Well apart from biology, they will have to take on, physics, cosmology, geology, palaeontology, mineralogy, etc. quite apart from that notorious international conspiracy of scientists who don’t see nature exactly as written in the Bible !

    Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the fools. What next ? A rain dance from Rick Perry ?

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