We told you that we didn't expect the far right to take it well when they heard that students would be treated to science, and only science, in new instructional materials approved by the State Board of Education. But this we did not see this coming -- the far-right embracing an entirely new standard of success for SBOE chair Barbara Cargill: pleasing us. Read More

That sound you hear is the collective heads of the anti-science lobby exploding. That other sound you hear is their two-year effort to undermine science education in Texas going down the drain. Read More

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 β€” and in one case traveled across the country β€” for the sake of the education of the children of this state. So, yeah, we're going to stand up for them a little. 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

Moments ago TFN released the following statement on the vote this morning at the State Board of Education:

TEXAS FREEDOM NETWORK STATEMENT TFN PRESIDENT KATHY MILLER: TEXAS KIDS, SOUND SCIENCE EDUCATION TRIUMPH IN SBOE VOTE

New Instructional Materials Teach Sound Evolutionary Science

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 22, 2011

Today the State Board of Education voted to adopt the Texas education commissioner’s recommended list of science instructional materials. Special interest groups and activists off the state board failed in their efforts to force publishers to change their instructional materials to include arguments against evolutionary science. In addition, the board voted unanimously to reject the adoption of instructional materials from a New Mexico-based vendor that promoted “intelligent design”/creationism.

The following statement is from TFN President Kathy Miller:

“Today we saw Texas kids and sound science finally win a vote on the State Board of Education. Now our public schools can focus on teaching their students fact-based science that will prepare them for college and a 21st-century economy. And our schoolchildren won’t be held hostage to bad decisions made by a politicized board that adopted flawed science curriculum standards two years ago. Moreover, today we saw that the far right’s stranglehold over… Read More

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