Education

With a public school enrollment of more than 5 million, Texas has an increasingly diverse public education system. Unfortunately, that public education system is also the target of politicians seeking to privatize our neighborhood public schools and push a culture-war agenda in the classroom.

To that end, the Texas Freedom Network – while continuing to fight private school voucher legislation at the Capitol – has conducted groundbreaking research into what is being taught in classrooms on subjects like sex education and religion.

Resources

Broken Promises: Charter Schools in Texas (2000 report)

Broken Promises II (2001 report)

 

The State Board of Education: Dragging Texas Schools into the Culture Wars (2008 report)

 

Just Say Don’t Know: Sex Education in Texas Public Schools (2009 report)

Sex Education in Public Schools: Progress in the Lone Star State (2011 report)

Reading Writing & Religion: Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools (2006 report)

Reading, Writing & Religion II (2013 report)

Can This Class Be Saved? The ‘Hobby Lobby’ Public School Bible Curriculum (2014 report)

 

Chisum Launches Attack On Evolution

Appropriations Chairman Should Focus on Budget, Not Culture Wars

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 14, 2007

The second most powerful member of the Texas House should refocus his efforts on passing a good state budget, not promoting fringe ideas that would embarrass the state and threaten the education of our schoolchildren, the president of the Texas Freedom Network said today.

“The House is in danger of becoming a breeding ground for fringe ideas instead of a body for serious lawmaking,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “Does Rep. Chisum really believe that our children should learn that the earth stands still while the rest of the universe revolves around it? The fact that we are even discussing this should be alarming to all Texans.”

Extremists have targeted the theory of evolution in a number of states. Just yesterday, the Kansas Board of Education repealed curriculum guidelines that attacked the theory of evolution and promoted creationism in science classes. That action was in direct response to the rout anti-evolution extremists suffered at the polls last November. Ironically, we learned today that state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, circulated a memo that would take Texas in… Read More

Proposed Bill Favors Deeply Flawed Bible Curriculum in Texas Public Schools

Students Deserve Quality Materials, not Ideological Agendas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 12, 7007

Proposed legislation directing Texas public schools to offer elective Bible classes appears to favor the developers of a deeply flawed and controversial curriculum, the president of the Texas Freedom Network said today.

House Bill 1287 by state Rep. Warren Chisum makes the Bible the textbook for such courses, an approach favored by the North Carolina-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS). That provision would eliminate competition from a nationally marketed textbook from the Bible Literacy Project, as well as other curricula. The provision is similar to controversial legislation the NCBCPS helped draft and win passage for in Georgia last year.

“Bible courses are a wonderful way to teach students about the importance of religion in history and literature,” Miller said. “But students deserve quality instructional materials that are based on the best scholarship, not an ideological or religious agenda. Yet Rep. Chisum’s bill appears to favor a curriculum that fails that test.”

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund has released two reports about public school Bible courses. The 2005 report revealed that… Read More

Is Odessa the Next Dover?

West Texas school board adopts controversial Bible curriculum denounced by legal and Biblical scholars

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 21, 2005

AUSTIN On the same day a federal judge ruled that the attempt by the Dover school board to inject their own religious faith into public school classrooms was unconstitutional, an Ector County school board decision may have repeated the same error.

The Ector County ISD was repeatedly warned by legal experts and Biblical scholars about flaws in the curriculum produced by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS). Despite those warnings, and over the objections of parents, clergy and local curriculum experts, the Board voted (4-2) last night to adopt the NCBCPS curriculum for use in Ector County schools beginning next fall.

“For those who don’t know how this story will end, the federal judge in the Dover case provided a preview, “said TFN President Kathy Miller. “The NCBCPS curriculum clearly promotes one religious viewpoint over all others. By adopting this curriculum, the Ector County school board decided it is their responsibility to interpret the Bible for kids, a role we believe is best left to parents and… Read More

Texas Lawmakers Ponder the ‘Culture War’ at Sept. 30 Event Conference Explores the Role of ‘Moral Values’ in Contemporary Political Debate

September 28, 2005 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN A bipartisan panel of current and former lawmakers will reflect on the nation’s raging “culture war” at an Austin conference this week sponsored by the Texas Faith Network.

The panel discussion which includes state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio; state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston; and former U.S. Rep. Max Sandlin, D-Marshall is part of a day-long exploration of the role of “moral values” in contemporary American politics.

The conference is 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sept. 30, at the Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Road) in Austin. It is part of a weekend of events marking the 10th anniversary of the Texas Freedom Network. The conference sponsor, the Texas Faith Network, is a project of the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund and includes more than 600 mainstream clergy from around the state. Other conference highlights include: Read More

Turning Public Schools into Sunday Schools TFN and Clergy Call on Education Officials to Warn Parents, Public Schools about Inappropriate Bible Curriculum August 1, 2005 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN – The Texas Freedom Network and an interfaith group of clergy today called on education officials to alert parents and public schools about an error-filled, sectarian Bible curriculum being aggressively marketed across the country.

“This curriculum is simply an attempt to use public schools to interfere with the freedom of families to practice their own faiths and pass on their own religious values to their children,” said TFN President Kathy Miller. “The curriculum’s supporters are demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of what religious freedom really means.”… Read More

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