You are here

BSCS concerned about Texas


In a letter (PDF) to the Texas Commissioner of Education and the members of the Texas state board of education dated February 13, 2008, the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study expressed its opposition to actions in the state of Texas that "compromise the integrity of science and the quality of science education," citing in particular the forced resignation of Chris Comer from the Texas Education Agency and the Institute for Creation Research's bid for Texas certification for its graduate school. "Understanding the theory of evolution is essential for teaching the biological sciences, and there is a rich body of scientific evidence in support of evolutionary theory that every biology teacher must know well," the letter stated, adding, "it is pedagogically irresponsible to remain neutral on teaching the principles of evolutionary theory, which form the cornerstone of modern biology." BSCS closed by urging the commissioner and the board to "maintain the integrity of science as you fulfill your responsibility for supporting the high quality science education that your students deserve."

The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study is a nonprofit corporation that endeavors to improve all students' understanding of science and technology by developing exemplary curricular materials, supporting their widespread and effective use, providing professional development, and conducting research and evaluation studies. Founded in 1958, BSCS was largely responsible for reintroducing evolution into the high school biology curriculum, following a four-decade period after the Scopes trial in 1925 during which evolution virtually disappeared from high school biology textbooks. As Joseph D. McInerney, BSCS's executive director from 1985 to 1999, explained, "Our books put evolution back in the curriculum in the early 1960s, and we've been defending it ever since." A five-minute podcast about BSCS's role in reintroducing evolution into the high school biology curriculum, excerpted from a new documentary about BSCS, is available on the section of its website devoted to evolution, which is presently undergoing a welcome expansion.