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Update from Virginia

Virginia's House Bill 207 received extensive coverage in a hometown newspaper — The Recorder, published in the district of the bill's sponsor, Richard P. "Dickie" Bell (R-District 20). In reporting on various bills introduced by Bell, the newspaper commented (January 23, 2014), "By far, Bell's proposal for science teachers has attracted the most scrutiny."

Creationism in Texas charter schools?

"When public-school students enrolled in Texas’[s] 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 be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth," according to Zack Kopplin, writing in Slate (January 16, 2014). "These are all lies."

Antievolution legislation in Missouri

Missouri's House Bill 1472, introduced in the House of Representatives on January 16, 2013, is the third antiscience bill of the year, following Virginia's HB 207 and Oklahoma's SB 1765.

Antiscience bill in Oklahoma

Senate Bill 1765 (document), styled the Oklahoma Science Education Act, is the second antiscience bill of the year. As is increasingly common with antiscience legislation, SB 1765 would, if enacted, in effect encourage science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach anything they pleased — proponents of creationism and climate change denial are the usual intended beneficiaries of such bills — and discourage responsible educational authorities from intervening.

Continued progress in South Carolina?

At its January 8, 2014, meeting, the South Carolina state board of education voted to adopt a new set of science standards, rejecting two different proposals that would have compromised the treatment of evolution in the process.

Antiscience bill introduced in Virginia

House Bill 207, prefiled in the Virginia House of Delegates on December 27, 2013, and referred to the Committee on Education, is the first antiscience bill of 2014.

A final victory in Texas

"[A] special expert panel has given unanimous approval to the Pearson biology textbook whose adoption by the Texas State Board of Education ... last month had been tripped up by allegations that it contained 'factual errors,'" reports the Texas Freedom Network on its TFN Insider blog (December 17, 2013). 

Encouraging news from Texas

When the Texas state board of education gave its final approval to all of the proposed textbooks for high school biology and environmental science courses at its November 22, 2013, meeting, there was a loose end.

Kansas answers COPE

Will a federal court dismiss a lawsuit seeking to prevent Kansas from adopting the Next Generation Science Standards? In documents filed on December 5, 2013, the defendants in COPE et al. v. Kansas State Board of Education et al. asked the United States District Court for the District of Kansas to dismiss the suit, saying (PDF) that the court lacks jurisdiction over all claims asserted in the complaint and that the complaint fails to state a claim against the defendants.

Victory in Texas

The integrity of science education triumphed in Texas when the state board of education gave its final approval to all of the proposed textbooks for high school biology and environmental science courses at its November 22, 2013, meeting.

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