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Confusion Around Release of MN Draft Science Standards

The first draft of new state science standards has been released by the Minnesota Department of Education and posted on its website. However, the version originally posted on September 9 was removed after a short time and replaced by a slightly different one. According to a September 10 report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (headlined "Squelched Standards Hedged on Evolution") the only difference between the two versions was in "(h)ow they described the teaching of evolution.

Textbooks Approved in Texas

On Friday, November 7, the Texas State Board of Education (SBoE) voted 11-4 to place all submitted high school and advanced placement (AP) biology books on the “conforming” list, making them eligible for adoption by local districts.

Textbooks Win Preliminary Approval in Texas

On November 6, 2003, the Texas Board of Education voted to place all eleven biology textbooks under consideration on the approved list, despite protests of antievolutionist groups about the treatment of evolution in the books. The 11-4 vote was preliminary, and the final vote will take place on November 7.

School Board Rejects Change in Evolution Policy

Washakie County School District #1 will not change its treatment of evolution. According to an Agape Press report, the board has voted 5-2 not to adopt a new policy on teaching biology. The proposed policy would have labeled evolution "only a theory and not a fact ", and continued "Teachers shall be allowed in a neutral and objective manner to introduce all scientific theories of origin and the students may be allowed to discuss all aspects of controversy surrounding the lack of scientific evidence in support of the theory of evolution "

550+ Texas scientists and educators agree on teaching evolution

On November 1, 2003, a statement was released urging the Texas Board of Education to resist pressure on it to undermine the treatment of evolution in biology textbooks now under consideration. Signed by over 550 Texas scientists and educators, the statement observes that "Any dilution in textbooks of the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution should sound an alarm to every parent and teacher."

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