by Kathy Miller, TFN President

The conclusion of our year-long effort to protect science in Texas hangs on a final vote at the State Board of Education this Friday.

And on Thursday morning when the board begins its crucial deliberations over the science textbooks, we want to show them the world is watching. We’re going to hit them with a Stand Up for Science “Thunderclap.”

What that means is if we meet our goal of 100 action takers, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Facebook post or tweet from science supporters around the world, creating a wave of attention.

I’m pleased to tell you that we are in a strong position — all the proposed textbooks have a complete, uncensored account of evolution and climate change. But if history is a guide, things can go south quickly once the state board begins its debate.

Even though we are on the brink of victory, we can’t take anything for granted.

Keep an eye out for TFN emails and Facebook posts this week. If things go crazy at the state board, we need you to be ready to act.… Read More

On Nov. 22, our Stand Up for Science campaign will come to an end. That’s when the Texas State Board of Education will take a final vote on adopting new science textbooks that will be in classrooms for the next decade.

Now is the time to take action by telling the members of the state board: “Adopt the books. Stand Up for Science!”

Click here to send your own message to all 15 members of the board.

Our goal — science textbooks with complete, accurate information on evolution and climate change — is within reach.

Against long odds, we already convinced the publishers not to mess with the books.

Now all that stands between those textbooks and Texas classrooms are politicians on the state board who have a long history of attacking science.

We can win this.

Click here to send a letter to the board.Read More

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.

Read More

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