Texas BOE Does Something Right!

Holy cow. The Texas State Board of Education, which very rarely does anything that could be called even remotely rational, has actually voted — unanimously, even — for scientifically accurate textbooks, rejecting creationist books in the process. The NCSE reports:

Pop the champagne corks. The Texas Board of Education has unanimously come down on the side of evolution. In a 14-0* vote, the board today approved scientifically accurate high school biology textbook supplements from established mainstream publishers — and did not approve the creationist-backed supplements from International Databases, LLC.

“This is a huge victory for Texas students and teachers,” said Josh Rosenau, NCSE programs and policy director, who testified at the hearings this week. In his testimony, Rosenau urged the board to approve the supplements — recommended by a review panel largely composed of scientists and science educators — without amendments, and to reject International Databases’ creationist submission. The board did just that, and asked for only minimal changes to the approved supplements…

Dr. Eugenie Scott, NCSE’s Executive Director, is celebrating the decision. “These supplements reflect the overwhelming scientific consensus that evolution is the core of modern biology, and is a central and vital concept in any biology class. That these supplements were adopted unanimously reflects a long overdue change in the board. I commend the board for its refusal to politicize science education.”

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  • That’s great news!

  • And I’ll even say “Well done” to Rosenau.

  • Michael Heath

    I was unable to find this story in any mainstream state media outlets. It’d be nice to get some additional perspective on why the many creationists on the TBOE seemingly decided to support the education of children.

  • dingojack

    For those who are curious the missing footnote reads:

    “* Correction: This story initially reported the vote as 8-0. The board has 15 members, with one (Mary Helen Berlanga) away on vacation”.


  • It’s from The Onion, right? I mean, that’s Texas we’re talking about.

  • shouldbeworking

    I checked the Onion, nothing there about this topic. So is this Texas, USA, not some other Texas in some other country?

    This is going to really upset my cousin (the one that thinks Hagee is a backslider).

  • That’s dated July 22, 2011. So it was great news then, I guess.

  • MikeMa

    Sure sounds as if someone has spiked the punch. There were still a fine number of creationists on the SBOE. Whoever told them to vote for this either willingly mislead them or tricked them into voting in favor of science is going to burn in hell. Can’t wait to shake his hand when we all get there.

  • As a Texan, I was glad to hear the vote turned out the way it did, but it’s a big surprise for me. It makes me worry there’s some hidden catch.

  • reddiaperbaby1942

    What’s sad is that in this day and age this should still be newsworthy.

  • amyjane

    You don’t suppose they were embarrassed by the no critical thinking plank in the Texas Republican Party Platform?

  • I am puzzled by this one, for the reason SC gives at #7. I have seen this one posted on facebook as well, but the NCSE news story dates from last year. Is this a new victory, in which case the dating at NCSE is wrong, or is it an old story that has been making some rounds again?

  • I guess it’s an old one. tfn has nothing new on the TBoE, so guess this one dates from 2011, as the NCSE webpage suggests.

  • eric

    Good news all around, but I wouldn’t put much emphasis on the unanimity of it. That was probably just political manouvering; the faction who wanted to oppose it couldn’t get enough votes to do so, so they switched in order to not look like pikers.

  • peterh

    But looking like pikers – and not realizing it – is what religious zealots are so good at!