What's wrong with the new Texas standards


Writing in The Earth Scientist, the journal of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, NCSE's Steven Newton explains (PDF, pp. 30-33) in detail what's wrong with the new state science standards adopted in Texas in March 2009, focusing on the Earth and Space Science standards in particular. At the behest of the creationist faction on the state board of education, references to the specific age of the universe, common descent, and evolution were removed, and language that misleadingly suggests that established scientific results are in doubt was introduced. Newton concludes, "Although the original ESS standards were based on strong science and outlined an excellent course in earth sciences, a number of creationist and anti-science amendments have weakened the ESS standards and disrespected the hard work and expertise of the writing team. The standards are finalized and in place, bad amendments and all. The struggle for science education in Texas now shifts to the adoption of textbooks in 2011, when these deeply-flawed amendments may be used to force a creationist agenda into Texas science classrooms."