NSTA's advice to Texas


The executive director of the National Science Teachers Association called on the Texas state board of education to "reject any pressure to promote any nonscientific views in its textbooks or classrooms." Writing on Live Science (November 8, 2013), David Evans insisted, "presenting non-scientific or religious ideas in science class or in science textbooks is simply wrong and blurs the line about what is and what is not science. This will only confuse and mislead students and does nothing to improve the quality of science education and everything to weaken it."

As NCSE previously reported, publishers submitted their proposed science textbooks for adoption in Texas in April 2013, and review panels, composed of Texans chosen by the state board of education, were responsible for evaluating them. Although ideologues on the panels attacked the treatment of evolution and climate change in the textbooks, the publishers stood firm, making no changes that compromised the scientific integrity of their materials. In his column, Evans congratulated the publishers "for standing up for science and rejecting non-science views" on behalf of the NSTA.

NCSE's Joshua Rosenau, who traveled to Austin in September 2013 to testify before the board in defense of the textbooks, will return there to monitor the board's deliberations. "The decisions that the board makes next week will affect science education in Texas, and nationally, for years to come," Rosenau explained. "It's vital that NCSE be present — and that our members show up, too." The textbooks are scheduled to be addressed during a public hearing starting at 1:00 p.m. on November 20, 2013, in Room 1-104 of the William B. Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress Avenue in Austin.