Texas Education

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Texas education board approves standards for Bible classes

Posted by Texas Education on July 21, 2008

This does not surprise me in the least, does it you? I wanted to put Uh, oh for my title. Zowie! This is unbelievable. For the full story.

Critics say the rule adopted by the board doesn’t provide specific enough guidelines to help teachers and school districts know how to do that and avoid a First Amendment clash over freedom of religion. In the end, the board’s coalition of social conservatives prevailed, 10-5. Some religious experts immediately expressed dismay.

“This is what happens when our elected officials put politics and personal agendas ahead of the interests of our schoolchildren and their families,” said Ryan Valentine, deputy director of the liberal Texas Freedom Network, which monitors the influence of religion in public policy.

I predict we’re headed for a constitutional train wreck,” said Mark Chancey, chairman of the religious studies department at Southern Methodist University. “The people who suffer will be the educators and the students, and the people who will foot the bill will be us the taxpayers.”

State board members, who balked at establishing state standards because they might be too difficult to write, were wrong, John Ferguson of Howard Payne University said. “How can small school districts develop sound standards, he wondered?”

Here is the history, via available Houston Chronicle stories.

– The bill is introduced by Warren Chisum and considered in the House Education Committee.
– The bill passes the Texas Senate and is sent to the governor for a signature.
– The State Board of Education requests clarification about the bills language.
– The Attorney General states that the course passes Constitutional muster.
– The Chron editorializes that the standards are too loose, preaching may well result.

Here is a document from the Texas Education Agency site
outlining hearings and providing links to other documents related to the establishment of a Bible based curriculum.

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