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Win some, lose some for science

That’s the basic conclusion to draw after the three-day circus that was the now-concluded SBOE hearings in Austin. TFN Insider sums it up:

TFN President Kathy Miller: Texas State Board of Education Adopts Flawed Science Standards

The word “weaknesses” no longer appears in the science standards. But the document still has plenty of potential footholds for creationist attacks on evolution to make their way into Texas classrooms.

Through a series of contradictory and convoluted amendments, the board crafted a road map that creationists will use to pressure publishers into putting phony arguments attacking established science into textbooks.

We appreciate that the politicians on the board seek compromise, but don’t agree that compromises can be made on established mainstream science or on honest education policy.

What’s truly unfortunate is that we now have to revisit this entire debate in two years when new science textbooks are adopted. Perhaps the Texas legislature can do something to prevent that.

As before, TFN’s liveblogging was an invaluable resource for anyone who wanted to know just what the heck they were doing up there. Friday’s installations are here and here, with a video preview of what it was all about here. Other liveblogs: Thoughts from Kansas and Evo.Sphere, while once again Martha covered things on Twitter. She also has an article reprinted from QR that goes into the reasons why this is such a circus. The Observer has a wrapup piece as well. Finally, as evidence for the Evan Smith thesis about the close tie between the SBOE’s baloney and Texas’ bad image elsewhere, I submit this. The good news, in a sense, is that at least we’re not the only ones. And we have two years, and an election, in which to get it right for the next time.

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