David Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, has written an opinion column about the science textbook adoption in Texas this year. You can read the full piece posted on LiveScience.com. Here’s an excerpt:
There are many ways that humans come to know, experience, understand and appreciate the world in which we live. Consider, for example, the different realms of religion, science and art. We can all appreciate the beauty of a sunset without understanding that its beauty comes from the energy of a thermonuclear reaction and the refraction of its light in the atmosphere. Likewise, understanding the scientific processes of the sunset does not prevent one from capturing its beauty on canvas or making a spiritual connection.
There are countless differing opinions about how best to educate our children, but presenting non-scientific or religious ideas in science class or in science textbooks is simply wrong and blurs the line about what is and what is not science. This will only confuse and mislead students and does nothing to improve the quality of science education and everything to weaken it. Decisions about what counts as science should not be a popularity contest.… Read More
Watch and listen in as the Texas Freedom Network’s Kathy Miller, the National Center for Science Education’s Josh Rosenau, and University of Texas Professor Arturo De Lozanne talk about the battle to defend evolution and climate change science in proposed science textbooks for Texas schools. The State Board of Education is scheduled to vote November 22 on which textbooks to approve for the state’s public schools.
Despite complaints from anti-evolution activists, state-appointed citizen reviewers are now giving a top rating to most of the high school biology textbooks proposed for adoption in Texas this year — but the adoption of those textbooks still faces a big political obstacle at the State Board of Education.
State reviewers in August gave a top rating to just four of 14 proposed high school biology textbooks. Publishers want that top rating because it makes it easier to sell their textbooks to the state’s public schools.
Many of the reviewers’ objections focused on textbook coverage related to evolution. For example, one reviewer criticized a textbook for not including the inaccurate claims that “no transitional fossils have been discovered” and that the fossil record doesn’t necessarily support evolution. Another reviewer insisted that all of the textbooks include information on “creation science based on Biblical principles.”
But our examination of proposed editorial changes to those textbooks earlier this month found that publishers have resisted pressure to add those junk science arguments. We then sent the Texas Education Agency (TEA) a public information request for documents showing how reviewers have reacted to the refusal by publishers to weaken instruction… Read More
Last week we brought you the good news that publishers are, thus far, refusing to cave to demands by anti-evolution activists and climate change deniers to water down the science in proposed textbooks for Texas public schools.
Now that we have convinced publishers not to mess with science, we have to convince the State Board of Education.
You can help us start by spreading a message so simple even Texas politicians can’t miss the point:
All that stands between those textbooks and Texas classrooms is one last hurdle: politicians on the state board who have a long history of attacking science.
Help us spread the word about the board’s final November vote on the textbooks by sharing this image on your Facebook page.… Read More
Last week we reported that publishers are resisting pressure to dumb down instruction on evolution in the new science textbooks they are proposing for Texas public schools. And we asked you to send publishers an email thanking them for standing up for science despite the efforts of anti-evolution activists on and off the State Board of Education to undermine the education of a generation of Texas students.
The response has been spectacular — thousands of emails have flooded into publishers offices. As of this afternoon, in fact, 6,276 people have sent a “thank you” email to the 14 publishers who submitted textbooks and online instructional materials for high school biology classes this year.
Publishers are hearing the collective voices of parents and other Texans who are tired of anti-science fanatics who want public schools to lie to students and teach discredited arguments against evolution. It’s not too late to add your name to a “thank you” to publishers for refusing to bow to those demands. Just click here.
This battle isn’t over yet. The State Board of Education still must vote on whether to adopt these new textbooks and other instructional materials, which could be classrooms for up… Read More