TFN President Calls Out TX State Board of Education for Once Again Overruling Teachers

by Dan Quinn

State Board of Education members have again disregarded the recommendations of teachers and scholars on science curriculum standards. Politicians on the board are more interested in promoting their personal agendas than making sure Texas kids get a sound science education. Here’s our press statement:

Today the State Board of Education voted to overrule a panel of teachers and scholars who have recommended striking from Texas science curriculum standards various requirements based on creationist arguments against evolution. Creationists on the state board added the problematic standards in 2009 in an attempt to force textbooks and teachers to cover those anti-evolution arguments in classrooms. Teachers say those particular standards are confusing, misleading, time-consuming or too demanding for high school students. Even so, state board members essentially restored a number of those requirements in various rewrites today.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller had the following statement on today’s votes:

“This is like watching the sequel to a bad movie. Once again we see the board overruling and rewriting the work of classroom professionals and other experts who know better than anyone else how to teach our kids. Teachers are practically begging the board to stop forcing them to waste classroom time on junk science standards that are based mostly on the personal agendas of board members themselves, not sound science. But these politicians just can’t seem to stop themselves from making teachers’ jobs harder.”

The state board asked teachers and scholars to simplify, or “streamline,” the science standards. Teachers have expressed frustration with how to cover all of the misleading and confusing standards — including the anti-evolution standards — approved by the board in 2009.

The board is set to hold a second public hearing and final vote on the revised standards in April.

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