Friday, November 25, 2005


Lone Star State Adapts to Evolution

An article by Karen Adler in the San Antonio Express-News indicates that intelligent design is not on the front burner in Texas just now. Two years ago, she writes, the Texas State School Board adopted Biology texts that ignore non-scientific criticisms of evolution recently put into the curriculum in Kansas. The Texas science curriculum specifically calls for the teaching of evolution, not alternative ideas about how the universe was formed.

In 2001, Kim Bilica, a science education specialist at the University of Texas at San Antonio, writes Adler,
"surveyed Texas biology teachers for her doctoral dissertation at Texas Tech University. In general, teachers said they wanted to spend more time teaching evolution but felt they didn't have enough administrative support. They also said they felt constricted by the amount of material they have to cover to prepare students for the state's accountability test, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills... "

Although the textbook decision will not be revisited until 2010, according to Adler, eight of the 15 state board members are up for election next year. The board voted 11-4 to approve textbooks that ignore creationist and intelligent design inspired criticisms of evolution.

Adler's article is a good source for keeping up with the current state of play in the Lone Star State. Defenders of science education will want to be alert and active as the Texas School Board election unfolds.


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