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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Freedom Network’

Next in “What’s wrong with our textbooks”: Climate change

From the inbox: An examination of how proposed social studies textbooks for Texas public schools address climate change reveals distortions and bias that misrepresent the broad scientific consensus on the phenomenon. Climate education specialists at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) examined the proposed textbooks, which publishers submitted for consideration by the State Board […]

Time again to talk textbooks

Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network sounded the alarm in the Sunday op-eds. The last time Texas adopted social studies textbooks – in 2002 – political activists and members of the state education board themselves demanded scores of changes to content they didn’t like. Publishers resisted some, such as demands to downplay slavery as […]

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 […]

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 […]

The birth control poll

The Texas Freedom Network would like you to know that Texans support having access to birth control. A new statewide poll from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund shows Texans believe that access to family planning and birth control is important and should not be limited by a woman’s income level, employer or medical provider. […]

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 […]

The TFN on the SBOE

Hair Balls attended a session at the TDP convention held by the Texas Freedom Network about electing a less-embarrassing State Board of Education. More than 600 people packed a ballroom at the George R Brown Convention Center on Saturday morning for TFN’s session, “Ignorance Is Not a Texas Value: Electing a Smarter State Board of […]

Another reason why Texas has a high teen pregnancy rate

We’re lousy at sex education. In the mid-1990s, California embraced sex education that teaches students the importance of waiting until they’re older to have sex, but also the value of using protection if they don’t wait. Compare this with classrooms in Texas, where messages around contraception — if they’re delivered at all — have sometimes […]

Harris County rejecting fewer voter registrations

In other lawsuit-related news: Harris County officials have rejected far fewer would-be voters since 2008, but Democrats are demanding more proof that voter rolls are not being illegally suppressed – particularly among Hispanics – as another U.S. presidential election approaches. The two sides [met] in secret mediation Friday as Democratic officials seek assurances the county […]

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 […]

By the way, our social studies standards still suck

So says a conservative think tank. In a report [released Wednesday], the Thomas B. Fordham Institute gives the Texas social studies curriculum standards a “D” while accusing “the conservative majority” of using the curriculum “to promote its political priorities, molding the telling of the past to justify its current views and aims.” “Biblical influences on […]

TFN poll on public school curriculum

This is generally good news. Eight of 10 Texans want high schools to teach contraception, including the use of condoms and abstinence, according to a statewide opinion poll that also shows high support for letting teachers and scholars write public school curriculum standards instead of the State Board of Education. More than two-thirds of the […]

The clown show finally calls it a wrap

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some other state to be the national laughingstock again. The Court of Criminal Appeals gives it a good run for its money, but you just can’t out-embarrass the SBOE, and every time they meet it gets worse. All I can say is thank goodness that two […]

Liveblogging the SBOE social studies hearings

No, not me. I’m not there, and besides, I’m no good at liveblogging. Here’s all the coverage you could need, from people who actually are good at this. First and foremost, the indispensable Texas Freedom Network. Stephen Schafersman, blogging for the Texas Observer. Dave Mann, also with the Observer. Brian Thevenot, writing for the Trib. […]

More on the SBOE

The Texas Freedom Network does a victory dance over the defeat of wingnut SBOE member Don McLeroy, noting that overall the forces of good did much better than the far right did. “Don McLeroy was right when he said this election was a referendum on what the board has done over the past four years,” […]

The SBOE takes on social studies

Somewhat surprisingly, nothing too horrible appears to have happened. Yet. Kindergartners would learn about a Texas revolutionary and first-graders would discuss the idea of holding public officials accountable under proposals approved Thursday by the State Board of Education, which began reshaping the guidelines for social studies lessons. The board was wading through dozens of amendments […]

SBOE prepares to screw up social studies

From a TFN press release: The state’s leading religious liberties group today joined with clergy and scholars in calling on the State Board of Education to approve new curriculum standards that don’t undermine religious freedom in Texas social studies classrooms. “Curriculum writers have drafted proposed standards that rightly acknowledge the influence of faith on the […]

You can try, but you can’t out-embarrass the SBOE

The Court of Criminal Appeals has had a good run lately as the public institution that has caused the most embarrassment to Texas, thanks in no small part to the ongoing Keller saga and the recent hot judge-on-prosecutor ruling. But never count out the State Board of Education, where it’s not just a clown show, […]

Textbook ideology

Who cares about Cesar Chavez and Henry Cisneros when our students could be learning about Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh? The State Board of Education has appointed “review committees” made up largely of active and retired school teachers to draft new social studies curriculum standards as well as six “expert reviewers” to help shape the […]

The new social studies curriculum, so far

There’s no reason to believe that the lunatic fringe of the State Board of Education will do anything but push an unrealistic and ideological change to the state’s social studies curriculum. They’ve made that clear by the kind of “expert” they’ve added to the committee that’s doing the review. But so far, at least, so […]

Defining “expert” down

The Statesman editorial board lets us know how Don McLeroy defines an “expert” on something. Don McLeroy, who couldn’t muster enough votes in the Republican-dominated Texas Senate to win confirmation as chairman of the State Board of Education, has a curious notion of what qualifies someone as an expert. “If two (board) members think they’re […]

The fight over social studies

We’ve talked before about how the State Board of Education wants to do to history what it’s been doing to science. The Chron adds some details to the discussion. Biographies of Washington, Lincoln, Stephen F. Austin? Not fit reading material for children in the early grades. Cesar Chavez? Not worthy of his role-model status. Christianity? […]

Another chance to slap the Governor

The Lege has had a few opportunities to express its opinion about Governor Perry and his “leadership” this session. Passing the unemployment insurance bill, inserting the budget amendment that would strip funding from the Texas Enterprise Fund in the event of a veto of the UI bill, the Office of State-Federal Relations bill, that sort […]

Clipping the SBOE

Patricia Kilday Hart has the quote of the day. The fallout from the State Board of Education’s debate over the teaching of evolution continued this morning in the Senate Education Committee, which held a spirited discussion on Sen. Kel Seliger’s SB 2275 transferring authority for textbook adoption from the State Board of Education to the […]

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 […]

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 […]

The sad state of sex education in Texas

We do a really lousy job of it. In sex education classes, 94 percent of Texas school districts teach that abstaining from sex is the only healthy option for unmarried couples, and, in many cases, students are given misleading and inaccurate information about the risks associated with sex, according to a 72-page report released Tuesday. […]

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, […]

You there! Stop evolving this minute!

Someone once said that no one’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. I’d extend that observation to note that no one’s intelligence or education is safe when the SBOE is in session. For those who want the gory details of today’s farce hearings, I’ll point you to the Texas […]