After last month’s Texas textbook vote, I was ready to declare total victory. I wrote:

It's a joy to be able to report on a sweeping victory for science education in Texas, and to be able to give an eyewitness report of the fight over the textbooks that will be used in that massive textbook market for years to come.

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Brave Sir Casey

Bravely bold Sir Robin
Rode forth from Camelot
He was not afraid to die, oh brave Sir Robin
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin

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At the public hearings on textbook adoption at the Texas Board of Education on September 17, there was an exchange that deserves to be noted. I mean, there were plenty of noteworthy exchanges, but most of the rest of them were on the crazy side. But this particular exchange deserves to be noted because at first glance, it might seem easy which side to support.

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Stand on the Congress Avenue Bridge in the evening, and you can watch millions of bats set forth across the Austin, Texas sky, freeing the city of mosquitoes. Walk north, and you’re surrounded by live music. Keep going until you reach the state capitol building, carved from native granite. Ponder the memorial to the Texans who died for the Confederacy. Cowboy hats, boots, and skinny jeans aren’t just for hipsters in this part of Austin. Pass the Chancery of the Diocese of Austin, and the statue of St. Francis commanding “Audite Verbum Dei”—“hear the word of God.” Half a block later, you’ve reached the headquarters of the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

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