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Posts Tagged ‘creationism’

SBOE approves new evolution standard

Shockingly, it doesn’t suck. The Texas State Board of Education tentatively voted to remove language in high school biology standards that would have required students to challenge evolutionary science. Currently, the curriculum requires students to “evaluate” scientific explanations for the origins of DNA and the complexity of certain cells, which some have argued could open […]

Some things never evolve

The SBOE, for instance. The Texas State Board of Education on Wednesday voted preliminarily for science standards that would keep in language that some say opens the door to creationism. The votes came a day after the board heard from scientists begging them to remove the language. Board members are set to hold a second […]

How extreme is too extreme?

The GOP candidates for Lite Guv are doing their best to test the hypothesis that having an R next to your name is all you need to get elected statewide in Texas, regardless of your stated positions on issues. The Republican candidates for lieutenant governor do not seem worried about Democratic challengers and independent voters, […]

Teaching creationism in Texas

Zack Kopplin reports on some unconstitutional behavior by a national charter school operator that has several campuses in Texas. When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is “sketchy.” That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will […]

Standing up for science

Sure hope it did some good. A past Texas State Board of Education chairman and outspoken creationist urged his former colleagues on Tuesday to approve high school biology textbooks he said would “strike a final blow to the teaching of evolution.” Appearing at a board hearing on new instructional materials, Don McLeroy, a Bryan dentist […]

SBOE getting set to review biology textbooks

TFN Insider sounds the alarm. We already knew that creationists on the State Board of Education had nominated anti-evolution ideologues to sit on teams reviewing proposed new high school biology textbooks in Texas. We now have seen the actual reviews from those ideologues — and they’re every bit as alarming as we warned they would […]

Zack Kopplin

Remember the name Zack Kopplin. Rice University sophomore Zack Kopplin says he has been called the Antichrist, a godless liberal and, bizarrely, the cause of Hurricane Katrina. Kopplin, 19, has gained notoriety for championing the fight against his home state of Louisiana’s 2008 law that made it easier for teachers to introduce creationist textbooks into […]

The opening argument against vouchers

We’ve been hearing about vouchers since Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst named Sen. Dan Patrick to be Chair of the Senate Education Committee, but we haven’t heard – or at least, I haven’t seen – a lot of information about what exactly that would mean. This Chron op-ed by Ronald Trowbridge brings some facts and figures […]

Texas Freedom Network’s guide to the SBOE elections

The Texas Freedom Network has put out a useful little voter’s guide to the 2012 State Board of Education elections, which covers a range of topics from creationism and climate change to bullying and SBOE procedures. You might look at the answers that the candidates who responded submitted and think “Hey, cool, everyone is basically […]

Grading Texas science classes

We get a C. Texas public school science courses “pay lip service” to critical content and largely ignore evolution in the middle grades, according to a national education foundation study that gives the state of Texas an overall “C” for science education. The average grade for Texas science curriculum standards by the Thomas B. Fordham […]

SBOE manages to not screw up science supplements

Baby steps. The quietude of yesterday’s State Board of Education meeting came to a screeching halt during today’s final vote over supplemental science materials. After a unanimous preliminary vote on Thursday, the board appeared split over alleged errors in how evolution was addressed in a high school biology submission from Holt McDougal. A board-appointed reviewer […]

Day One at the SBOE

Here’s your TFN Insider coverage of today’s SBOE science hearings. In Part I of the hearings, we find that the SBOE may not be such a major factor in school curriculum any more: 10:20  – Board members are quizzing the commissioner about how the new rules governing the purchase of instructional materials — changes codified […]

Time to get it on again with the SBOE

From an email from the National Center for Science Education: The Texas Board of Education is at it again, this time aiming to insert creationism into high school biology classes via textbook “supplements” (such as those from International Databases, LLC). The other goal: to force mainstream publishers to rewrite their supplements to de-emphasize or undermine […]

Creationists concede

A small bit of good news for Texas education. Henry Morris III, the CEO of the Institute for Creation Research, has announced the end of the school’s fight with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In 2008, after the board denied the institute’s request for authority to offer a master’s degree in science education, the […]

Score one for science

Good. On its website, the Institute for Creation Research promises an education that is “Biblical. Accurate. Certain.” But there’s one thing they can’t promise: a master’s degree in science education. In 2008, after the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board denied their request for a state certificate of authority to offer such a degree, the Dallas-based […]

Chris Comer appeals lawsuit dismissal

I had lost track of Chris Comer, the former director of science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency, who resigned under pressure for sending out email regarding a lecture that debunked “intelligent design” since she filed a wrongful termination lawsuit over this. The NCSE brings an update on her status. Chris Comer, whose lawsuit challenging […]

The SBOE’s assault on history

In my earlier post about the virtues of a pro-science PAC, I mentioned that the State Board of Education had turned its attention towards doing to social studies what it had done to science. Vince gives a great rundown of the so-called “expert” who is heading up the SBOE’s panel reviewing the curriculum. Check it […]

Dunbar in line to chair SBOE

The crazy never stops. Critics who engineered the recent ouster of State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, in part because of his strong religious beliefs, could end up with someone even more outspoken in her faith. Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, who advocated more Christianity in the public square last year with the publication of her […]

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 […]

Strengths and weaknesses fails

That’s the good news. San Antonio’s Ken Mercer, part of the board’s seven-member social conservative bloc, tried to put the much-debated “strengths and weaknesses” language back into the state’s science standards that guide the content of textbooks and curriculum. Mercer’s amendment to a final draft of the science standards would have required science teachers to […]

The “strengths and weaknesses” showdown

Back in January, the State Board of Education somewhat surprisingly voted to remove anti-science “strengths and weaknesses” language from the curriculum. That was only a preliminary vote, however, and today is the day that the hearings begin for the final vote. The Texas Freedom Network gives a preview. After more than a year of work […]

“Strengths and weaknesses” rears its head again

I know we thought that the current round of anti-evolutionism was in remission once the effort to change the science textbooks by the State Board of Education fell short. Sadly, these things never truly go away, and where the SBOE failed State Rep. Wayne Christian will try again with HB4224, which would put the bogus […]

The dentist in charge

The Statesman has a profile of Don McLeroy, the young-earth creationist who is also the chair of the State Board of Education and who is currently leading the fight to cripple science education in Texas. I’m not going to get into the details of this story – Hal and TFN Insider do all the heavy […]

Evolution in action

A common refrain I hear from scientists when another political controversy over the teaching of evolution arises is that they need to do a better job of explaining what they do and why it matters. Well, when the scientists get serious about that, I suggest they give the Chron’s Eric Berger a call, because as […]

Chron coverage of yesterday’s SBOE actions

Here’s the Chron story about yesterday’s happenings at the State Board of Education, in which the good news was that the anti-science “strengths and weaknesses” language had been removed from the curriculum, and the bad news was that a subsequent attempt to back-door similar nonsense made it in for now. The “strengths and weaknesses” standard […]

Update on yesterday’s evolution happenings

In the comments to yesterday’s post about the vote taken by the State Board of Education that stripped out “strengths and weaknesses” language about evolution, Martha noted that there was another vote on this to be taken today. I haven’t seen any newspaper coverage of that, but according to TFN insider and Thoughts from Kansas, […]

Evolution remains legal in Texas

Whew! That was a close one. In a major defeat for evolution critics, a sharply divided State Board of Education voted Thursday to follow the advice of a panel of science educators and drop a long-time requirement that “weaknesses” in the theory of evolution be taught in high school science classes. Under the science curriculum […]