The Texas State Board of Education decides what every student in Texas public schools will learn from kindergarten through high school. The board does so by adopting curriculum standards and textbooks for public schools in the state.

For decades, politicians on the State Board of Education and their activist allies have taken advantage of this flawed system to dismiss the advice of experts and scholars. They have instead worked to inject their personal views into textbooks on everything from evolution and climate change to the history of slavery, civil rights and separation of church and state.

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Oh, Kansas. Why must you share our suffering so?

As Texans with our own dysfunctional and often wacky State Board of Education, it’s easy for us to sympathize with Kansans, who are facing elections to their own tenuously sane state board this year.

Unfortunately, Kansans won’t have many of the moderates currently leading the board to re-elect, as they are stepping down — and far-right politicians and interest groups are ravenous to regain control by picking up the moderates’ seats.

Out of the five seats up for election this year (the board is composed of ten members total), two races have candidates who are explicitly far to the right of the mainstream: Republicans Dennis Hedke, Alan Detrich and Robert Meissner (who’s a dentist; what’s with dentists on state boards of education?). Hedke is involved with the conservative Americans for Prosperity’s tour touting “global warming alarmism.” Meissner is . . . well, let’s just let him speak for himself:

“As stated in the past, if the science community can come to a consensus as to the scientific credibility of alternative theories as to origin, then… Read More

The Institute for Creation Research is launching a public relations campaign to win state approval for a master’s of science education degree from the Dallas-based group. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board unanimously rejected the group’s application last month. On Sunday the Austin American-Statesman published a full-page ad from the Institute. You can see a long version of the ad here and a TFN press release here. The group’s leaders have implied that they will also turn to the courts in their efforts to promote creationism as science in Texas.

Texas clearly has become Ground Zero in the religious right’s efforts to undermine instruction on the theory of evolution and to promote biblical creationism in its place. The State Board of Education will soon begin revising science curriculum standards for Texas public schools. The board’s creationist chairman and his supporters have already made it clear that they will insist that the standards, as well as biology textbooks that publishers submit for their approval in 2011, call into question the theory of evolution. Never mind, of course, that a sound scientific understanding of evolution is the foundation for the biological sciences.

The Texas Freedom Network’s StandRead More

Tx Freedom Network

The House State Affairs hearing today has been moved to room E2.028. #txlege

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