Good News! Texas Republicans Have Failed to Force Creationism Into Science Textbooks

Reactionaries lose
US News • Views: 26,441

Republicans on the Texas State Board of Education have been fighting a desperate last ditch battle to shoehorn their superstitious creationism and climate change denial into public school science textbooks, but in the good news of the day, the board voted this morning to adopt the textbooks without compromising the science.

TEXAS TEXTBOOK ADOPTION IS A MAJOR VICTORY FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION

No Compromise on Science Instruction about Evolution or Climate Change in Textbooks, TFN President Says

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 22, 2013

Despite last-minute efforts by some board members and political activists to derail the adoption of two textbooks, the State Board of Education today voted to adopt all of the proposed instructional materials up for adoption for high school biology and environmental science. Throughout the adoption process, publishers refused to make concessions that would have compromised science instruction on evolution and climate change in their textbooks, said Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of today’s vote, which is a huge win for science education and public school students in Texas,” Miller said. “Four years ago this board passed controversial curriculum standards some members hoped would force textbooks to water down instruction on evolution and climate change. But that strategy has failed because publishers refused to lie to students and parents demanded that their children get a 21st-century education based on established, mainstream science.”

The board voted to adopt all textbooks and instructional materials submitted by 14 publishers for high school biology and high school environmental science. None of those textbooks call into question the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution and climate change science.

The adoption of the Pearson biology textbook is contingent on the review by a panel of three science experts of factual “errors” alleged by an anti-evolution activist who served on the official state review team this summer. The publisher has insisted that the alleged errors are, in fact, accurate representations of established, mainstream science.

The board adopted the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt environmental science textbook after the publisher submitted a document agreeing to revise material that might be outdated. Scientists who have reviewed the publisher’s proposed revisions were satisfied that none of the revisions would compromise the integrity of the science in the textbook, Miller said.

There’s a reason why the Republican Party fought so bitterly to insert their junk science into these textbooks: book purchases made by the state of Texas are so large that they have a strong influence on which books are published and used by the rest of the nation. If the religious right had succeeded in Texas, the effects would have been felt far beyond the Lone Star State.

They lost. And science won, this time. But don’t kid yourself — the anti-science right will be back. They always come back.

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