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

The science debate is about to heat up again in Texas, as evolution deniers on the State Board of Education attempt to deliver one of the creationist movement's longstanding goals: getting information questioning the validity of evolution into Texas science classrooms. To get you back up to speed on what to expect in the coming months -- and what is at stake in this debate -- the Texas Freedom Network asked scientists from two of our state's world-class universities to prepare a short primer on the topic. Over the course of this week, TFN Insider will publish their analysis of the four most problematic changes the state board made to Texas biology standards in 2009. (See Parts I, II, III and IV here.) But first, let's check a short review of where we are and how we got here. 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