“Any statements made were my own personal beliefs.”
That’s how Karen Beathard, an official state textbook reviewer, defends telling publishers that the biology textbooks they submitted for adoption in Texas this year should include “creation science based on biblical principles.”
Her statement encapsulates precisely the problem with the science textbook adoption process in Texas. Some State Board of Education (SBOE) members decided to nominate reviewers based on their personal beliefs, not their qualifications or expertise. And because they did so, SBOE members have undermined public confidence that the review process was anything but a sham.
Ms. Beathard, a dietician/nutritionist, has every right to her personal beliefs. The Texas Freedom Network will stand up for her right to express those beliefs in public or in private. But Texas students should get a 21st-century education that prepares them for college and the jobs of today. That means their textbooks should be based on established, mainstream science, not the personal beliefs of individuals who simply aren’t qualified to evaluate those textbooks.
Today the State Board of Education will hold its first public hearing on the new science textbooks. TFN Insider will be live-blogging from that meeting. We will also be live-tweeting @TFN_Live.
The hearing is set to begin at 1 p.m. in the board room of the Texas Education Agency. You can also join us at a #StandUp4Science rally at noon outside the TEA building at 17th and Congress in Austin. If you can’t make it to Austin, you can join our virtual #StandUp4Science rally by sharing a photo on social media. Click here for more on how you can participate in our virtual rally.