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Creationist publisher backs down in Texas

The Foundation for Thought and Ethics is not going to submit supplementary biology materials for approval by the Texas state of board of education after all, according to a January 31, 2011, post on the blog of the Texas Freedom Network. A list of vendors released by the Texas Education Agency on January 20, 2011, included FTE, which is perhaps best known as the publisher of Of Pandas and People, the "intelligent design" creationism textbook at the center of the Kitzmiller v. Dover case in 2005. But according to FTE, it told the TEA by e-mail on November 15, 2010, that it was not going to submit any materials; it reiterated its withdrawal by way of "a signed letter on publisher's stationary [sic]" dated January 25, 2011.

Describing FTE's withdrawal as "very good news for supporters of sound science education and students in Texas public schools" and "a huge disappointment for evolution deniers on the Texas State Board of Education," the Texas Freedom Network nevertheless warned, "other dangers remain for science education in Texas. Anti-evolution groups and state board members are likely to pressure legitimate publishers and other vendors to water down instruction on evolution in the materials they submit for board approval." Materials submitted for approval will undergo for public review in March 2011, with a final vote from the state board of education expected in April 2011. Approved materials will be available for purchase by local school districts.