My article for Seed about what the new Texas standards mean for science education nationwide is now online! Check it out.
Here's a taste:
Given these stakes, my colleagues and I worked hard to influence the Texas School Board over the months of hearings, providing them with a statement signed by 54 scientific and educational societies opposing “any effort to undermine the teaching of biological evolution and related topics.” We worked with local activists to organize constituents and political honchos who educated board members about the importance of evolution to science education.
But the other side knew the board’s seven creationists needed to pick up only one vote to gain a majority. The Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based intelligent design think tank, and the Greater Houston Creation Association worked on creationist amendments and lobbied for the decisive eighth vote. They were aided by testimony from Ray Bohlin, a molecular biologist who left science to start a fundamentalist ministry, and Don Patton, who parades a doctorate from what appears to be an Australian diploma mill and gained notoriety claiming fossil evidence that dinosaurs and humans walked side-by-side.
Despite our efforts, after a total of 24 hours of testimony in three separate hearings, pro-evolution moderates brokered a compromise with the board’s seven creationists. Heeding McLeroy’s cry that “someone’s got to stand up to experts!,” the board approved standards that promote creationism’s mantra of “sudden appearance” of new species, echo creationist beliefs that the complexity of the cell cannot be scientifically explained, and mandate that students study “different views on the existence of global warming.”
For the full story, click on through!
Great article Josh. It's good to know that we teachers in Texas are not standing alone against this type of attack.