I just got this brief from Robert Luhn of the NCSE
Representative Leo Berman (Republican, District 6, Smith County) has just introduced HB 2800, which would exempt “certain private nonprofit educational institutions” from the rules other degree-granting schools must follow in Texas.
The aim, apparently, is to help the Institute for Creation Research’s graduate school, which was denied state certification (a precursor to accreditation) when it moved to Texas. The ICR is a “Young Earth Creationist” organization that believes the Earth is 10,000 years old, Noah’s flood really happened, Adam and Eve were real people, etc. The ICR has been pushing the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to certify the ICR’s school, which wants to offer masters degrees in science education. HB 2800 would make that easier, since an institution could request exemption in writing, which the board education could grant by simply issuing a letter.
As the Texas Citizens for Science has noted, certifying ICR to award masters degrees in science education “would be a mockery of science and an injustice to students who work hard in legitimate academic institutions to earn real Masters degrees in science education.”
From intelligent design to “academic freedom” laws to…this. A new approach to smuggling creationism into the classroom.
Background on Texas legislation and related issues:
“Legislative salvation for the ICR?”