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Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.
Co-author with Paul R. Gross of Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design
December 5, 2007
The forced resignation of the Texas Education Agency's director of science curriculum continues to attract attention and comment. Writing in The New York Times (December 3, 2007), Ralph Blumenthal reported, "After 27 years as a science teacher and 9 years as the Texas Education Agency's director of science, Christine Castillo Comer said she did not think she had to remain 'neutral' about teaching the theory of evolution. But now Ms.
Chris Comer, the director of science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency, was forced to resign after forwarding a short e-mail message announcing a presentation in Austin by Barbara Forrest.
Norma Gabler, the conservative textbook activist, died on July 22, 2007, at the age of 84, in Phoenix, Arizona. Born Norma Elizabeth Rhodes in Garrett, Texas, on June 16, 1923, she married Mel Gabler (1915-2004) in 1942. The couple was known for their critiques of textbooks used in Texas's public schools. They began to scrutinize textbooks for hints of "secular humanism" in 1961, after finding errors in one of their son's textbooks.
On July 17, 2007, Don McLeroy was appointed by Texas governor Rick Perry (R) to chair the state board of education, succeeding Geraldine Miller.
The attorney general of Texas, Greg Abbott, recently reaffirmed the standing interpretation of the 1995 state law that restricts the power of the Texas state board of education to review and reject the content of textbooks used in the public schools. Abbott's opinion, issued on September 18, 2006, was in response to a request from board member Terri Leo (District 6), who was among the most vocal critics of the eleven biology textbooks under review by the board in 2003.
House Bill 220, introduced in the Texas House of Representatives on December 14, 2004, by Representative Charlie Howard (R-Sugar Land), would, if enacted, amend the state's education code to require that textbooks approved by the state be free from factual errors, "including errors of commission or omission related to viewpoint discrimination or special interest advocacy on major issues, as
On Friday, November 7, the Texas State Board of Education (SBoE) voted 11-4 to place all submitted high school and advanced placement (AP) biology books on the “conforming” list, making them eligible for adoption by local districts.
On November 6, 2003, the Texas Board of Education voted to place all eleven biology textbooks under consideration on the approved list, despite protests of antievolutionist groups about the treatment of evolution in the books. The 11-4 vote was preliminary, and the final vote will take place on November 7.