Win for Science Education in Texas!
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 26, 2009
Hooray! It looks as if the creationists on the Texas Board of Education have been defeated in their efforts to insert “strengths and weaknesses” language into the Texas state science standards! Read more at my recent post: The Textbook Saga in Texas Continues.
This means that Texas textbooks – and, by extension, science texts nationwide – will not be watering down good science in the name of pushing pseudoscientific flim-flam as espoused by the fundamentalist creationist whackjobs on the Texas BoEd.
The vote was extremely close: it was a 7-7 tie with one board member, who fortunately opposes the creationists, being absent. The Dallas Morning News elaborates…
A last-ditch effort by social conservatives to require that Texas teachers cover the “weaknesses” in the theory of evolution in science classes was rejected by the State Board of Education Thursday in a split vote.
Board members deadlocked 7-7 on a motion to restore a long-time curriculum rule that “strengths and weaknesses” of all scientific theories – notably Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution – be taught in science classes and covered in textbooks for those subjects.
Voting for the requirement were the seven Republican board members aligned with social conservative groups. Against the proposal were three other Republicans and four Democrats.
The tie vote upheld a tentative decision by the board in January to delete the strengths-and-weaknesses rule in the new curriculum standards for science classes that will be in force for the next decade.
I don’t think we on the pro-science side are completely out of the woods just yet, as I wouldn’t put it past the creationists to try some kind of last-minute shenanigans. But for now we can celebrate this big win!
If you’re interested in staying informed on these and similar topics, I strongly urge you to get connected with the National Center for Science Education (NCSE).