This is Part III in a series of four posts in which TFN Insider had university scientists analyze problematic changes the State Board of Education made to science curriculum standards for Texas public schools in 2009. This year publishers will submit — and the state board will approve or reject — instructional materials based on these flawed standards. The following entry examines the current version of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (7)(G), which reads as follows: (7)  Science concepts. The student knows evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life. The student is expected to:

(G)  analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.… Read More

This is Part II in a series of four posts in which TFN Insider had university scientists analyze problematic changes the State Board of Education made to science curriculum standards for Texas public schools in 2009. This year publishers will submit — and the state board will approve or reject — instructional materials based on these flawed standards. The following entry examines the current version of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (7)(B), which reads as follows

(7)  Science concepts. The student knows evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life. The student is expected to:

(B)  analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning any data of sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record;… Read More

This is Part I in a series of four posts in which TFN Insider had university scientists analyze problematic changes the State Board of Education made to science curriculum standards for Texas public schools in 2009. This year publishers will submit -- and the state board will approve or reject -- instructional materials based on these flawed standards. The following entry examines the current version of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (3)(A), which reads as follows: (3)  Scientific processes. The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions within and outside the classroom. The student is expected to:

(A)  in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student;… Read More

by Dan Quinn

Last month's announcement by a prominent creationist group that it had decided not to seek state approval to sell instructional materials to Texas public schools was good news for supporters of sound science education. Now e-mails obtained by the Texas Freedom Network through a Texas Public Information Act request reveal just how bad the materials from Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) would have been. Read More

Politics and personal agendas dominated the Texas State Board of Education's process for adopting new science curriculum standards for public schools two years ago. Now our first look at the developing process for approving science instructional materials based on those standards has increased our concerns that politics will continue to trump education. The State Board of Education's faction of anti-science fanatics is clearly hoping to stack teams reviewing the science materials that publishers will submit at the end of February. A Texas Freedom Network review of current candidates for those review teams has identified more than a dozen who have been outspoken critics of evolutionary science, self-identified creationists or educators at evangelical Christian schools. Those candidates include nominees from state board members as well as individuals who have applied on their own to serve on the teams. Under a new schedule made available this week by the Texas Education Agency, those teams will meet in June to review the proposed science materials. TEA released a list of more than 170 candidates for the science review teams at the January state board meeting. (The agency is still adding to the list.) At the same meeting, TEA staff said each…… Read More