Texas Board of Education Changes Textbook Review Rules to Emphasize Facts Over Ideology

On Friday, the Texas Board of Education did something you won’t believe they didn’t do a long time ago:

Among the changes approved Friday was a mandate that teachers or professors be given priority for serving on the textbook review panels for subjects in their areas of expertise. They also enable the board to appoint outside experts to check objections raised by review panels and ensure they are based on fact, not ideology.

“It won’t eliminate politics, but it will make it where it’s a more informed process,” said Thomas Ratliff, a Republican board member who pushed for the changes, which he said “force us to find qualified people, leave them alone, and let them do their jobs.”

Wow! Giving teachers and other subject experts a say in which textbooks students should be using! That’s so… obviously the right thing to do.

Despite voting in favor of the new rules, one of the conservative board members, David Bradley (below), is still upset, calling the change anti-Christian:



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South Dakota Republicans Propose Bill to Promote Intelligent Design in School — and Protect Those Who Teach It

There’s a simple reason Intelligent Design and its unwanted cousin Creationism aren’t taught in public schools: They’re not science. It has nothing to do with some “anti-Christian” agenda on the part of administrators or teachers.

But the way South Dakota Senate Bill 112 reads, you’d think teachers were under attack for doing the right thing. Instead, the bill would allow teachers to preach Intelligent Design despite the fact that it’s essentially synonymous with pushing religion in the classroom:



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Saint Teresa of Ávila Gives Spain’s Government a Hand — Again

Teresa of Ávila, a Catholic mystic and Carmelite nun, has been the unofficial patron saint of Spain for some 400 years. She rose to fame in the 16th century when she first began to inflict “various tortures and mortifications of the flesh” upon herself, and then graduated to the imagined penetration by a heavenly seraph, like so:

I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God.

The pain was so great that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. 

These days, I bet she would be a writer for kink.com — or maybe an adviser to the Spanish government.

The Guardian explains:

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Congressman Rush Holt Once Again Recognizes Darwin Day in the House of Representatives

Yesterday, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced H. Res. 467 (now available for viewing) on the floor of the House, expressing his support for the recognition of February 12th as Darwin Day:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="216"]Rep. Rush Holt being awesome[/caption]

“We’re pleased to join Rep. Holt again in support of a Congressional resolution honoring Darwin’s contributions to science and humanity,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Too many people are being influenced by the dangerous creationism and so-called ‘intelligent design’ movements, and it’s time for others in Congress to stand up for true science.”

Last year, Holt introduced identical legislation as did Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) in 2011:

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Now Virginia is Attempting to Legalize Prayer During Morning Announcements, Football Games, and Graduation

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote about how Georgia Republican State Rep. Dustin Hightower (below) was introducing legislation that would legalize student-led, administration-supported proselytizing at football games, during morning announcements, graduation ceremonies, and anywhere else where students had a public forum.

The same law was passed last year in Mississippi, as well as Texas and Tennessee.

And the same kind of bill is currently going through the state legislature in Virginia.

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