The Texas Based Institute for Creation Research would offer an online degree in Science Education. Approved by a State Advisory Board yesterday, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will consider the degree in January.
Could this be why there has been a shakeup at the Texas Higher Education department?
The prospect of the ICR offering a degree is at the same time chilling and satisfying. Accroding to NCSE Director Eugenie Scott:
They teach distorted science … Any student coming out from the ICR with a degree in science would not be competent to teach in Texas public schools.
Well yes, Genie, that’s true, but also, we would KNOW they were incompetent. The first thing I want to know is this: Does Texas require, for accreditation, that graduates of a Master’s program are listed unambiguously in a publicly accessible archived database?
If so, then this degree is not such a bad idea. It labels the creationist teachers very clearly. It would be a clearing house. Public schools in America that have creationism as part of their curriculum (all zero of them) can hire the creationists teachers from Dallas, Texas. All the other schools (all 50,000 or so of them) can not hire the creationist “Masters.” In the mean time, there would be huge piles of money pouring into this graduate program. Money that would otherwise be used elsewhere, like for Anti-Evolution Billboards or Lawyers.
So individual fundamentalist Christians, instead of spending their money on mittens and warm hats for all those trips up north for invasions of reproductive rights clinics, will spend their money on the useless creationism degree. Either way, we hobble the right with an ineffective flow of resources.
The ICR program in Texas would probably include what looks to me like a class in maneuvering, or what I would call shenanigans. This from their web site:
Course: Curriculum design in science”
“The school board has asked you to serve on a committee that is examining grades 6-12 science goals. … Both evolutionist and creationist teachers serve on the curriculum committee. How will you convince them to include creation science as well as evolution in the new scope and sequence?”
ICR has been producing graduates for some time and has a strong on-line program. This new degree seems bizarre, but it is really just more of that same old Texas Longhorn Bullshit. Just as Texas has ruled the world of schoolbooks for so long by consolidating the entire state into a single purchasing entity, then getting a good economy for a couple of decades so many people moved there, Texas has become, willingly and with gusto, one of the major battle grounds of creationism at all levels, from grade school to post graduate.
Texas is the new Kansas.
A six member team from the Texas education department has visited the school. Glenda Barrn, head of the visiting committee, claims that the school was held to the same standards as any other college. She claims that the only difference between this school and any other school offering a Master’s of science is the name of the school.
This makes me wonder about the accreditation system in Texas overall. Is this this the same standard to which Texas A&M is held? If so, I think other Texas schools need to be reexamined. This is why:
The six member team sent by the state to look at the ICR consisted of four people from religious institutions and two from public higher ed, and only one person with background in science or math, but that person did not have a real science background. So, when we hear “the only thing different about this school is the name” we know we are getting a dose of Texas Longhorn Bullshit.