The Texas State Board of Education on Wednesday took a preliminary vote to compromise on a pair of high-school science standards that critics say encouraged the teaching of creationism.As the article points out, Texas has had a long and heated battle with creationists on the board, led by Cargill and Don McLeroy, continually watering down the standards. Hopefully, things will look up for students of science in Texas.
The 15-member board voted unanimously to change language in its standards to take the pressure off teachers to delve deep in evaluating cell biology and DNA evolution.
"I was very pleased with how smoothly everything went," said Ron Wetherington, an evolutionary anthropologist at Southern Methodist University and member of the High School Biology Streamlining Committee that recommended the board modify language in the standards to save teachers class time.
Standards using words like "analyze and evaluate" are like "dogs whistles," he said, that ideological groups see as an opening to explore creationism and intelligent design as explanations for the origin of life.
The first change to the standards, if confirmed by a second vote on Friday, would require students to "compare and contrast scientific explanations" for the complexity of cells, instead of "evaluate." The change would return the standard to the original language recommended by the committee, reversing an addition in February authored by Republican board member Barbara Cargill of The Woodlands.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Texas State Board of Education In the Crosshairs Again
The Texas State Board of Education is revising standards for science again, in response to criticisms that they allow for the teaching of creationism. Andrea Zelinski, of the Houston Chronicle, writes: