Teams made up of educators, parents and other community members from around Texas are meeting in Austin to complete their reviews of textbooks and other instructional materials in science that publishers have submitted for the state’s public schools. The teams are meeting to determine whether the proposed materials conform to the state’s Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS, curriculum standards for science.

This week teams for the high school courses, including biology, are meeting. The curriculum standards for those courses, adopted by the State Board of Education in 2009, are particularly controversial. Creationists on the state board succeeded in adding standards they hoped would force publishers to include junk science arguments against evolution in their new materials.

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund asked two science academics to review the most problematic standards shortly after they were adopted. We published a report of their work, which includes their analysis of the problematic standards and how publishers can responsibly address them. You can find the report here.

We will be monitoring the progress of the review teams, but their reports will not be available until later in August or September. The state board will hold a… Read More

The reaction to the relaunch of our Stand Up for Science campaign has been fantastic. It’s clear that thousands of Texans see the State Board of Education’s adoption of new science textbooks later this year as critically important to ensuring that Texas kids get an education based on sound, peer-reviewed scholarship, not creationist junk science. You can sign our campaign petition here.

But the reaction hasn’t been universally positive. Check out the email we got from one evolution denier:

I would like to direct your attention to:

Since you are so WRONG in your “knowledge” of science, you should make at least some attempt to rectify that.  The impression of a man’s footprint within that of a dinosaur could only have occurred if there was NO RAINFALL for many-many years to allow the sand to form into stone.

Also, you have no evidence to prove evolution.  There is NONE!  There is not one fossil to connect any living animal to a former form of life.  There is, however, plenty of evidence that there is no source for those animals living today; that is, there may be many opinions but there is no proof.… Read More

Earlier today, the Texas Freedom Network relaunched its Stand Up for Science campaign, the latest installment in our ongoing efforts to ensure Texas schoolchildren receive only mainstream science, and not creationist arguments, in their public school science classes and textbooks.

So why now? Because there are some big decisions coming over the next four months that will determine what public schools students learn in their science classes.

The Texas State Board of Education has begun working on its once-a-decade adoption of science textbooks for Texas classrooms. And for years, an anti-science faction of that board has done all it can to undermine the science of evolution and climate change by giving equal weight to nonscientific beliefs like climate change denial and the idea that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. We’ve got news for those folks: Big Tex and T-Rex didn’t ride the range together.

It’s time to Stand Up for Science.

Click here to sign our petition and help us reach our goal of 5,000 signatures of Texans demanding that the State Board of Education approve science textbooks that are based on sound, peer-reviewed scholarship.

This fight is personal for me… Read More