You can watch today’s public hearing at the State Board of Education live online here.

3:50 – The board hearing just ended. Board members will discuss the textbooks tomorrow (Wednesday). We’ll be here.

3:47 – Cargill and other board members keep arguing that nothing can be done about the flawed curriculum standards adopted in 2010. So in their view, the flawed textbooks get a free pass because the flawed standards they are based on are already on the books. Huh?

3:43 – Patty Quinzi from the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, compliments TFN for asking respected scholars to review the proposed textbooks. We appreciate that. It’s too bad state board members didn’t ensure that more than a tiny handful of university scholars served on the official state review teams.

3:38 – Emile Lester, a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington who reviewed proposed government textbooks for the TFN Education Fund, is up. As he does in his report for us, Lester expresses concerns about how textbooks exaggerate religious influences — especially Moses — on the American founding and the Constitution. No one challenges his points.

3:17 – Zach Kopplin, a science advocate and member of Americans… Read More

7:45 p.m. – Ok, folks. We’re going to hang in here until they finish, but we don’t expect you to. We’ll skip the live-blog tonight and post a recap tomorrow morning. We’ll watch so you don’t have to. Be safe out there.

5:40 – If this is true, then the science hearing is likely to be pushed back even further into the night:

Hearing that Sen @DanPatrick & Rep @Aycockjda are headed to the SBOE to remind the board of legislative intent on HB5 #txlege

— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) November 20, 2013

5:30 p.m. – Still waiting for the science portion of the hearing to begin. It’s looking like we might be in for a long night.

2:05 p.m. – The state board is still considering a separate matter. So the hearing on the science textbooks is not likely to start until late this afternoon. Stay tuned.

We will be live-blogging from the State Board of Education‘s hearing today on proposed new science textbooks for Texas public schools. The hearing was set to start officially at 1 p.m., but other board business is pushing that start time until later.… Read More

5:29 - That's a wrap. We're calling this hearing a lopsided victory for science. Thanks, everyone. Watch the blog tomorrow for video of former SBOE chair Don McLeroy's strange and confusing return to the board as a member of the public, and other fall-out from today's hearing. For pictures from today's science rally (and virtual rally), check out TFN's Stand Up for Science tumblr: 5:15 - And now a rebuttal to Mr. Bennett from the next testifier, Arthur Stewart, senior minister at Midway Hills Christian Church in Dallas, who states unambiguously that evolution should be in the textbooks, not any religious or theological beliefs. Amen. 5:10 - Gary Bennett, who identifies himself as Chairman of the Center for the Preservation of American Ideals, offers an unambiguous, explicit argument to include intelligent design and creation science "side by side" with evolution in the textbooks. SBOE member Thomas Ratliff asks which version of creationism should be in the textbooks. Bennett: "Biblical truth." Then he says all creationist beliefs (from all faiths) that are supported by scientific evidence should be taught. That might be an interesting class. But it sure wouldn't be science. 5:02 - Now the board hears from science defender (and YouTube…… Read More

We thought it might be useful to report some of the comments we're hearing today at the State Board of Education's ad hoc CSCOPE committee meeting. As of Thursday afternoon, 15 people had signed up to testify, but the committee is permitting other folks to sign up to speak today as well. (We should note that the Education Service Centers have renamed CSCOPE and now call it TEKS Resource System. "TEKS" stands for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the state's required curriculum standards. TRS no longer includes lessons. The old CSCOPE lessons are in the public domain now, and those lessons are what the committee is charged with reviewing.)…… Read More

We’re back in the hearing room for the final vote, which is beginning now.

9:24 – The board jumps right in to a discussion of the disputed Holt McDougal product. A TEA spokesperson clarifies that they could find NO documentation to substantiate that multiple review panel members signed-off on the alleged “error” list presented yesterday. It appears that a single member of this panel is responsible for these charges, and it does not reflect a consensus opinion of the panel.

9:27 – Important note: TFN has obtained a copy of letter addressed to the state board signed by five members of the official biology review panels. The letter challenges the alleged “errors” identified in the report presented to the board late yesterday, concluding:

“Holt McDougal’s supplement, as well as the publisher’s response to the reviewers, accurately describes the current state of the science, satisfies the TEKS, and matches the other supplements already approved by the board on Thursday.”

9:28 – Board member Michael Soto, D-San Antonio, moves to strike the disputed “error” list in the Holt McDougal product. Heated discussion ensues.

9:31 – Here is a summary of what is going on: the alleged… Read More