Texas

Katherine Hayhoe, photo by Ashley Rodgers, Texas Tech UniversityKatherine Hayhoe, photo by Ashley Rodgers, Texas Tech University

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Stunning! Interactive! Engaging! Creationist!

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11.19.2015

At its meeting on November 18, 2015, the Texas state board of education voted 8-7 to reject a proposal to add "a state review panel that could include college and university scholars assigned specifically to look for factual errors" in textbooks submitted for adoption in Texas, according to the Austin American-Statesman (November 18, 2015). 

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When I was in middle school, I was way into model rocketry. My best friend and I would build these elaborate rocket kits, then (having researched the pertinent ordinances) launch them from approved areas of public parks. We even started up a 4-H club on model rocketry, though it never really took off (as it were).

One day, we were walking through our New Jersey suburb on our way to a park to do a launch, rockets and wires and so forth poking out of our backpacks. A police car rolled up next to us, and the officer asked what we were up to. I don’t recall whether we flashed our hand-made rocket club membership cards, but we explained what we planned to do, and what we had researched about how to do a safe and legal launch. He let us go with a wave.

Had we done the same today, the result would likely be different.

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11.21.2014

The Texas state board of education voted to adopt a slate of social studies textbooks for use in the state on November 21, 2014. Among the books approved were several textbooks that, after criticism from NCSE and its allies in the scientific, educational, and civil liberties communities, were revised by their publishers (including Pearson and McGraw-Hill) to eliminate misrepresentations of climate science.

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11.17.2014

"McGraw-Hill, the second-largest educational publisher in the world, has removed key passages from a proposed Texas textbook that cast doubt on climate science," reports the National Journal (November 17, 2014). 

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On Friday, I was happy to report that climate change denial was removed from the social studies textbook Pearson proposed to sell in Texas. And I was sad to say that McGraw-Hill hadn’t gone far enough in addressing climate change denial in their Texas geography textbook. I’m pleased to be able to update that report and say that both publishers have now agreed to correct their coverage of climate change.

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11.14.2014

"Climate scientists can breathe a bit easier," the National Journal (November 13, 2014) reports. "Pearson Education — the largest educational publisher in the world — has cut material from a proposed Texas social-studies textbook that cast doubt on the human causes of global warming."

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The latest battle over Texas textbooks is coming to a head. Next week, the state board of education will vote to adopt social studies textbooks, setting the list of books approved for use in history, geography, social studies, economics, and other classes for next decade. Normally we at NCSE don’t spend much time looking at social studies textbooks, but climate change comes up in several of the books and we looked them over to make sure the science was right.

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11.13.2014

The pressure on the Texas board of education to require the correction of errors in the coverage of climate change in social studies textbooks presently under consideration continues.

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