Evolution In Texas Schools

November 23, 2013 by  

Evolution In Texas Schools, The evolution in Texas schools debate came to a boiling point this week during a meeting.

According to The Associated Press, a tense Board of Education meeting was held until the late night over the approval of science textbooks–particularly a biology book from Pearson Education, one of the largest in the United States.

Social conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education delayed the approval of a high school biology textbook, saying there are factual concerns over what it says about evolution, reported Reuters.

Citing board members, the news agency said that a volunteer reviewer found that “Pearson Biology” had “errors” that need to be corrected. The opinion of the reviewer led to the delay. According to the National Center for Science Education, the book is by Kenneth R. Miller and Joseph Levine.

“Publishers of several other books agreed to make the changes we pointed out,” David Bradley, who is a leader of conservatives on the Board of Education, told the news agency. “But we have one publisher of one book that says they are not making changes.”

The issues have to be resolved in four weeks to get approval. If the board members can’t come to an agreement by then, they will have to either reject the biology book or reconsider it for a meeting in January.

Texas is unique in that the some 1,000 school districts are not required to use books approved by the Board of Education. However, most opt to do so.

Board member Thomas Ratliff said that conservative board members are “holding this book hostage,” accusing them of having political reasons for doing so.

“You say that the sky is blue, but I say it’s green, and that’s a factual error, and we would find ourselves here, at 11:00 at night, voting on what to do,” Ratliff said, according to Reuters.

Ratliff said that he thinks the biology book is being used in “over half of the classrooms in the United States.”

“To ask me – a business degree major from Texas Tech University – to distinguish whether the Earth cooled 4 billion years ago or 4.2 billion years ago for purposes of approving a textbook at 10:15 on a Thursday night is laughable,” Ratliff added.

According to the Dallas News, book publishers have not bowed to the conservatives’ demands about adding elements to the theory evolution.

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