TFN President: It’s Time for the Texas State Board of Education to Listen to Teachers

by TFN

Board Must Choose Between Anti-Evolution Pressure Group and Texas Teachers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller urged the Texas State Board of Education to listen to teachers and scientists rather than out-of-state pressure groups and creationist activists when it votes this week on a proposed revision to the state’s curriculum standards for science. The state board heard public testimony on those standards today. The Discovery Institute, an anti-evolution organization based on Seattle, and other creationist activists have complained that revised language proposed by a state-appointed panel of teachers and scientists doesn’t sufficiently challenge the science of evolution.

Teachers and scientists have explained that requirements in the current standards, added by creationists on the state board in 2009, are not based on sound science and force educators to waste classroom time. The revised language proposed by the state panel largely removes those requirements. Following is Miller’s statement:

“Texas parents would find it disturbing if this board were to decide that the demands of an out-of-state pressure group are more important than the expert recommendations of teachers and scientists in Texas. We all have to make the education of Texas kids a priority and leave behind the culture wars and crusade against evolution that the rest of the developed world rejected a long time ago.

Frankly, it makes no sense to appoint committees of teachers and scientists to streamline the curriculum standards if state board members will reject their recommendations simply because they don’t like them or have personal objections. Board members should respect the expertise of these scholars and professionals. These experts are making recommendations based on sound science and their professional experience. And they are by far the best judges of what Texas students need to learn to succeed in a 21st-century world.”

The state board has scheduled a preliminary vote on the proposed revision for Wednesday and a final vote on Friday.

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots public education watchdog based in Austin.

Chuck Lindell

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