Texas

01.23.2009

PRESS RELEASE

Oakland, CA

In a close vote on Friday, the Texas State Board of Education approved revised science standards which removed controversial language mandating that students be taught the "strengths and weaknesses" of scientific theories.

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) applauds this move, since the references to "weaknesses" in the old standards have been used to introduce creationist attacks on evolution in textbooks and classrooms.

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01.22.2009

"The latest round in a long-running battle over how evolution should be taught in Texas schools began in earnest Wednesday as the State Board of Education heard impassioned testimony from scientists and social conservatives on revising the science curriculum," as The New York Times (January 22, 2009) reports.

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01.16.2009

As the Texas state board of education prepares to vote on a revised set of state science standards, two organizations — one secular, one religious — have joined forces to produce a new website, Teach Them Science, in order to advocate for a twenty-first-century science education for the students in Texas's public schools.

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12.24.2008

The third draft of Texas's science standards is available — and the creationist catchphrase "strengths and weaknesses" is absent.

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11.24.2008
Barbara ForrestBarbara Forrest

Barbara Forrest explained "Why Texans Shouldn't Let Creationists Mess with Science Education" on November 11, 2008, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Now video and audio of her talk is available on-line.

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11.20.2008

The Texas state board of education heard testimony about the proposed new set of state science standards during its meeting on November 19, 2008 — and plenty of the testimony concerned the treatment of evolution in the standards. As the Dallas Morning News (November 20, 2008) explained, the standards "will dictate what is taught in science classes in elementary and secondary schools and provide the material for state tests and textbooks. The standards will remain in place for a decade after their approval by the state board."

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11.17.2008

Scientists at public and private universities in Texas overwhelmingly reject the arguments advanced by the antievolutionists seeking to undermine the treatment of evolution in Texas's state science standards, according to a report just released by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund.

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11.14.2008

The Texas state board of education is scheduled to hear testimony on the state's science standards on November 19, 2008, and the treatment of evolution is likely to be a contentious issue.

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10.23.2008
Alan I. LeshnerAlan I. Leshner

Writing in the Houston Chronicle (October 22, 2008), the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Alan I. Leshner, deplores the recent appointment of three antievolutionists to a committee charged with reviewing a draft of Texas's state science standards. "The new standards will shape how science education is taught in Texas for the next decade, and it would be a terrible mistake to water down the teaching of evolution in any way," he writes, adding, "At a time when most educators are working to prepare students for 21st century jobs, the board members' action threatens to confuse students, divide communities and tarnish Texas' reputation as an international science and technology center."

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10.22.2008

"The State Board of Education's decisions in the coming months will affect both the college preparation and future job qualifications of our children. Our students deserve a sound education that includes the latest findings of scientific research and excludes ideas that have failed to stand up to scientific scrutiny." That was the message of the 21st Century Science Coalition's advisory committee -- Daniel I. Bolnick, R. E. Duhrkopf, David M. Hillis, Ben Pierce, and Sahotra Sarkar -- delivered in twin op-eds recently published in two Texas newspapers, the Waco Tribune (October 19, 2008), and the Austin American-Statesman (October 21, 2008).

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