Another first-hand report from the science review panel meeting last month in Austin has emerged, and it seems to corroborate some of the concerns about the flawed process expressed last week by biology panel participant Jimmy Gollihar. Specifically, it raises more questions about what State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, was doing at that meeting.

This report comes from a member of the physics review panel, John Blanton, who writes about the experience on his blog Skeptical Analysis. During a break in the review session, Blanton struck up a conversation with biology reviewer Ide Trotter, long-time supporter of “intelligent design”/creationism, when suddenly:

…Barbara Cargill joined us in our conversation. Dr. Trotter and I were discussing Intelligent Design when she walked up, and I am afraid she was confused and thought I was a creationist. She remarked “I’m one of you,” and gave us a reassuring clap on the shoulder. She conferred for a moment with Dr. Trotter over some notes, and she went off to visit other volunteers.

(Blanton is not an “intelligent design” supporter, as he makes… Read More

The Houston Chronicle today published the following opinion column by Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller about the adoption of new science textbooks for Texas public schools this year:

The State Board of Education is marching once again toward a showdown over what Texas students should learn in their public school science classrooms. And with political shenanigans and problems over transparency already emerging, the debate over science education in the Lone Star State could again become the butt of national jokes.

The state board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday and will vote in November on which science textbooks the state’s schools should use over the next decade. What those textbooks say about evolution (and even climate change) is, as in the past, at the center of the debate.

Science scholars at the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University have given solid marks to how publishers dealt with evolution in the high school biology textbooks they submitted to the state in April. Their findings are available on the Texas Freedom Network’s website.

Sadly, a number of state education board members nominated anti-evolution activists to sit on official panels reviewing the textbooks. Those ideologues want publishers to include in the new textbooks discredited arguments attacking… Read More

All of us at the Texas Freedom Network are grateful for our friends at the National Center for Science Education. NCSE has been a fantastic partner in our battles at the State Board of Education, including the current debate over proposed new science textbooks for Texas public schools. Josh Rosenau, NCSE’s programs and policy director, has been posting on NCSE’s blog about some of the worst objections of anti-evolution activists serving as official reviewers examining new biology textbooks publishers have submitted for adoption in Texas. We cross-posted one of Josh’s analyses here. Here's another. Read More

All of us at the Texas Freedom Network are grateful for our friends at the National Center for Science Education. NCSE has been a fantastic partner in our battles at the State Board of Education, including the current debate over proposed new science textbooks for Texas public schools. Josh Rosenau, NCSE's programs and policy director, has been posting on NCSE's blog this week about some of the worst objections of anti-evolution activists serving as official reviewers examining new biology textbooks publishers have submitted for adoption in Texas. We're pleased to cross-post one of Josh's analyses here. Read More