The State Board of Education late last week approved science instructional materials that will be in classrooms for the next decade, a decision lauded by TFN because the materials are free of creationist anti-science propaganda. But that's not what we're here for in this blog post. We're here for the sideshow that is the far-right Liberty Institute, the Texas offspring of Focus on the Family. Prior to Thursday's SBOE hearing, TFN held a press conference in the lobby of the Texas Education Agency building for which plenty of media showed. Aaaaand Liberty Institute's lawyer-lobbyist showed up. We don't really care that he was there. It was a public building and it was a public event. But it's what he said after the press conference that caught our attention. Approached by a reporter to get his side's viewpoint, he referred to our speakers as "so-called scientists." We would normally let such a cheap swipe go, but the people we invited to speak for us took time out of their busy lives — and in one case traveled across the country — for the sake of the education of the children of this state. So, yeah, we're going…… Read More

We wondered how the evolution-deniers would spin this disastrous end to their two-year campaign to insert bogus criticisms of evolution into Texas science instructional materials. Predictably, we didn't have to wait long. They are absurdly claiming they somehow won. The primary mouthpiece for the state's anti-evolution lobby -- the Texas-affiliate of Focus on the Family that calls itself Liberty Institute -- tweeted this knee-slapper: "Victory! SBOE unanimously votes to require changes to errors in science materials, related to evolution, before adoption." Since these folks don't have a good grasp of what just happened, let's review some facts here. Read More

Why is Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate of the right-wing Focus on the Family, standing with religious bigots and an extremist who hates the Statue of Liberty? It's a question worth asking about a group that bills itself as "protecting freedom" and wanting students to learn how to be patriotic. Read More

When fanatics don't have facts to back up their arguments, they invent them. We saw that during the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee's hearing Wednesday on SB 1348. That bill and companion HB 3263 call for the appointment of teams of highly qualified scholars from Texas colleges and universities to review proposed public school curriculum standards for accuracy and to ensure that they prepare students for college. This common-sense legislation appealed to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee. "It's hard for me to vote against a bill that makes sense," Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock said at one point. Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller testified in support of the bill, explaining how the State Board of Education has politicized curriculum standards and appointed unqualified "expert" advisers simply because of their ideological views. The board has even refused to ask scholars at the state's world-class universities to review the heavily revised standards before final adoption. Even a conservative think tank like the Fordham Institute has expressed its disgust with the state board's blatantly politicized and inaccurate curriculum standards. The facts-inventing began when Jonathan Saenz, the lobbyist for Liberty…… Read More

by Jose Medina

Why wouldn't you want a state entity to operate more efficiently and transparently? That is a question that no one had a good answer for Tuesday evening as the House Committee on Public Education took up HB 862, legislation sponsored by state Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, that would place the Texas State Board of Education under periodic "Sunset review."…… Read More

SIECUS

Once 👏🏾 in 👏🏼 a 👏 generation 👏🏽 Check out how @TFN is working hard to update Texas's sex education standards! 👇🏽rewire.news/article/…