USUAL LEFTIES SHOW UP: EVOLUTION DEBATE AT SBOE

Sep 19, 2013 by

“Usual Lefties Show Up: Evolution Debate at SBOE”

by Donna Garner

The elected members of the Texas State Board of Education adopted new Science curriculum standards (TEKS) on May 23, 2010 after a full year of debate, numerous public hearings, and multiple thousands of e-mails and contacts with the SBOE members. The battle over the Science TEKS is over. Now it is time for the SBOE to adopt the new Science textbooks (i.e., instructional materials) built upon the Science TEKS.

Yesterday the SBOE conducted public hearings on the Science textbooks. Many states utilize the textbooks that Texas adopts because our thorough textbook adoption process forces publishers to correct and refine their textbooks.

As usual, the leftwing, evolutionists showed up at the SBOE meeting to make their unfounded charges against the Board and the TEKS.

Most of the lefties are tied to Texas Freedom Network, Kathy Miller, and Dan Quinn; and no caring parent would want TFN deciding what Texas school children should think or read: http://nocompromisepac.ning.com/profiles/blogs/who-and-what-texas-freedom-network-really-is-by-donna-garner

Contrary to what Dan Quinn at TFN says, evolution is not “accepted by most scientists.” In fact, the next time someone says, “All real scientists believe in evolution,” you may want to pull out this website: http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/index.php

Over 700 well-known scientists have signed “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism,” and the number of signees has grown since its inception. The document states the following:

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

TEXAS BIOLOGY CURRICULUM STANDARDS

Please go to this link and read for yourself the Biology curriculum standards adopted by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education in 2010: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter112/ch112c.html#112.34.

Notice that nowhere in these TEKS does it mention creationism, intelligent design, or any of the other phraseology that the Texas Freedom Network-led testifiers accused the SBOE members of having passed.

Instead you will find TEKS that are considered by many to be the most clearly worded and fact-based in the nation. I have been told by publishers that Texas’ curriculum standards are much easier to follow because they are not nebulous, broad-based, generic, “pie-in-the-sky” standards. All that publishers have to do to meet the TEKS is to follow the “straight line” wording.

Here is the statement that relates to the subject of evolution, and not even the ACLU has dared to sue Texas over it because there are no grounds for litigation:

(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 [both strengths and weaknesses] of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student;

Plain and simple, Texas public school teachers are required to teach students the pros and cons of scientific hypotheses and theories. Texas students are to be able to analyze, review, and critique the hypotheses and theories of creationism and evolution using scientific evidence and information; and by law, the textbooks must reflect this same content.

This does not say that public school teachers are to take a position on the pros and cons of scientific theory. Neither should the Texas Education Agency take a position on the pros and cons of scientific theory. But it does mean that the Science textbooks should present the various sides of evolution – both strengths and WEAKNESSES. Texas students are to have the right to discuss all sides of the issue.

IF SCHOOL DISTRICTS WERE WISE

Even though the Science textbooks are only required to meet at least 50% of the curriculum standards (badly thought-out law passed by the Texas legislature in 2011) for each subject and grade level in both the student version and teacher version, school districts must guarantee to the state that they are teaching 100% of the required TEKS. Therefore, it would be much wiser for school districts to adopt Science textbooks that meet the highest percentage of coverage of the TEKS (according to documentation provided to all public schools in Texas by Education Research Analysts) rather than to adopt Science textbooks that meet the bare minimum of 50%.

ACTION STEP

Local citizens should pressure their own school districts to adopt new Science textbooks that meet the highest percentage of TEKS coverage.

Donna Garner

Wgarner1

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