Biology Textbook Review Week in Texas

Teams made up of educators, parents and other community members from around Texas are meeting in Austin to complete their reviews of textbooks and other instructional materials in science that publishers have submitted for the state’s public schools. The teams are meeting to determine whether the proposed materials conform to the state’s Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS, curriculum standards for science.

This week teams for the high school courses, including biology, are meeting. The curriculum standards for those courses, adopted by the State Board of Education in 2009, are particularly controversial. Creationists on the state board succeeded in adding standards they hoped would force publishers to include junk science arguments against evolution in their new materials.

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund asked two science academics to review the most problematic standards shortly after they were adopted. We published a report of their work, which includes their analysis of the problematic standards and how publishers can responsibly address them. You can find the report here.

We will be monitoring the progress of the review teams, but their reports will not be available until later in August or September. The state board will hold a public hearing on the proposed textbooks and instructional materials in September. Stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “Biology Textbook Review Week in Texas

  1. I would not want to be a publisher/editor for any science textbooks “approved” by the creationist/intelligent design faction of our TSBOE. Too many contradictions to confuse students. Oh well, if I have nothing better to do (which isn’t likely) I’d like to be at that public hearing — actually hear the passengers on the crazy train.

    1. I would not worry too much about it Rubin. Only people who live in Texas are vain enough to believe that the whole nation has its eyes on Texas and is holding its breath to see what Texas will do next. I live out here. No one gives a flying fart what Texas or people in Texas think about education or anything else. In fact, one almost never hears the word “Texas” in any context—not at the water cooler at work—not anywhere. No one cares and no one is struggling to imitate it—not even any conservatives that I am aware of. Out here, it is as if Texas does not even exist. I know that might be hard for some Texans to swollow, bit it would not be the first time someone choked on the truth.

  2. I am wondering whether the science textbook companies will totally ignore the insertion of creation science/ID content to meet the TEKS, leading the TSBOE to suggest “special supplementary materials” to the textbooks like that Panda crap in Dover. If they do, you can bet your last dime that the ACLU and Americans United have a gun to the head of the Texas SBOE (figuratively speaking), cocked, and ready to pull the U.S. District Court trigger on a moments notice.