Posted by Texas Education on March 27, 2009
Email from TFN (Texas Freedom Network) on the SBOE. A victory, no doubt, but we must stay cautious, at best. The update:
Just a short while ago, the Texas State Board of Education voted on new public school science standards that publishers will soon use to craft new science textbooks. This long-awaited decision is the culmination of TFN’s two-year Stand Up for Science campaign.
The good news is that the word “weaknesses” no longer appears in the science standards — this is a huge victory for those of us who support teaching 21st-century science that is free of creationist ideology.
The bad news is the final document still has plenty of potential footholds for creationist attacks on evolution to make their way into Texas classrooms.
Through a series of contradictory and convoluted amendments, the board crafted a road map that creationists will almost certainly use to pressure publishers into putting phony arguments attacking established science into textbooks. As TFN Communications Director Dan Quinn told the New York Times: “The State Board of Education pretty much slammed the door on ‘strengths and weaknesses,’ but then went around and opened all the windows in the house.”
What’s truly unfortunate is that we will have to revisit this entire debate in two years when new science textbooks are adopted in Texas.
While we did not succeed in ending this debate once and for all, I am extremely proud of the work we did together on this Stand Up for Science Campaign. Your testimony, calls and e-mails over these past months really made a difference in the outcome of this science debate — and the students of Texas are better off for it.
I sincerely hope you will consider participating in the last day of our Stand Up for Science matching gift challenge. Double your gift’s impact to TFN Education Fund by contributing today!
As you know, hostility toward science persists in our state. From stem cell research to responsible sex education, crucial public policies hang in the balance. As always, TFN will carry your support for mainstream values and sound science to our elected leaders.
Posted in SBOE, texas education | Tagged: Kathy Miller, SBOE, Stand Up for Science, TFN | 1 Comment »
Posted by Texas Education on January 22, 2009
Just two days ago, President Barack Obama spoke of the need to “restore science to its rightful place” and promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.”
Texas took a big step toward this new age of science today. But some new obstacles have appeared along the path.
Just hours ago, the State Board of Education (SBOE) voted 8-7 to reject efforts by creationists to reinsert into draft curriculum standards sweeping language — “strengths and weaknesses” — used to undermine sound science education. If this vote stands, a key weapon creationists have used to attack evolution will be swept from the standards.
But creationists on the board managed to sneak through other changes that complicate important parts of the standards. One change would have students question a core concept of evolutionary biology, common descent. It was a stunning display of arrogance, with the board’s far-right faction pretending to know more about science than the teachers and scientists who crafted the standards draft.
Clearly, then, this is not a time to be complacent. The Texas Freedom Network is redoubling our critical efforts. In fact, we’re working around the clock to fight off the radical right’s dangerous attempts to undermine our children’s science education and their chances to succeed in college and the jobs of the future.
The final vote on the science curriculum standards is slated for March — only a few weeks away! So the battle is not over and we can not succeed without your urgently needed help.
Today, I urge you to take 2 actions:
- Make a special donation to TFN in honor of educators, innovators, researchers and all those committed to teaching sound science over political ideology.
- Sign the Stand Up for Science petition and forward this message to friends and family so that they can lend their names to this important cause.
Thank you for all you do for TFN. You are a critical partner in our work, and together we can Stand Up for Science!
P.S. Don’t forget to forward the Stand Up for Science petition to your friends and family so that they may add their name to our efforts. Click here to forward this important message.
Texas Freedom Network advances a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the radical right.
Make a donation to support the work of TFN.
Posted in Good Stuff, Higher Ed, In-the-news, teaching | Tagged: Kathy Miller, President Barack Obama, SBOE, Texas Freedom Network, TFN | 3 Comments »
Posted by Texas Education on January 20, 2009
Our campaign for a 21st-century science education in Texas public schools has entered a crucial phase. Your help in this campaign can make a real difference this week.
This Wednesday the State Board of Education will hear public testimony on proposed science curriculum standards. The new draft standards reject efforts by creationists to undermine instruction on evolution. They also make it clear that supernatural explanations like creationism/“intelligent design” have no place in public school science classes. But creationists who control the state board are insisting that the standards require students to learn phony “weaknesses” of evolution. They want to force publishers to include those bogus arguments in new biology textbooks.
Help us turn back efforts to sabotage the education of Texas schoolchildren by standing up for science this week!
- Click here to sign up to testify before the State Board of Education IN SUPPORT OF THE DRAFT STANDARDS at the public hearing on Wednesday. The board will hear only four hours of testimony. But even if you don’t get a chance to speak, adding your name in support of the draft standards is very important. Also, supporters of the draft standards will WEAR GREEN at the hearing to show their support for a sound science education.
- Tell your state board member that you SUPPORT the draft science standards and OPPOSE efforts to water down the curriculum by opening the door to phony attacks against evolution. Click here to find the name and contact information for your State Board of Education member. Once you have the name of your board member, you can also click here to send an e-mail to him or her in care of the Texas Education Agency.
- Donate to the Texas Freedom Networks’ Stand Up for Science campaign. Your contribution will help ensure that the next generation of Texas schoolchildren gets a 21st-century science education that helps them succeed in college and the jobs of the future.
We want to keep you informed about action at the State Board of Education on this critical issue.
- TFN Insider will live-blog from State Board of Education on Wednesday. TFN Insider will also post updates throughout the week.
- Click here to subscribe to TFN News Clips and stay informed on this and other important issues.
Thank you for all you do to support a sound science education for Texas schoolchildren.
Posted in leadership, teaching, Texas schools | Tagged: Kathy Miller, SBOE, Texas Freedom Network, TFN | 1 Comment »