Ugh, my tummy hurts a lot today…so I need some morning happiness. Kids across the United States, and even in Texas, are going to get sound science in their science textbooks:
This week, the Texas State Board of Education held hearings to discuss the adoption of new textbooks for Texas schools. Given the SBOE’s past history with creationism, all eyes were specifically on the science textbook hearings, to see whether the SBOE would let real science into Texas textbooks. Going into the hearings, things were looking good for science advocates–despite months of pressure from creationists, publishers refused to yield to their demands, and Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams recommended that all the proposed high school biology textbooks be approved without changes.
Prior to the hearings, even the creationist “think tank” spearheading the charge to remove science from Texas textbooks had conceded defeat. But those familiar with the SBOE knew it wasn’t time to declare victory until the final vote was over. Well, the final vote happened on Friday afternoon, and we can now decisively say that science prevailed. The SBOE has approved all proposed science textbooks, none of which undermine evolution or climate change.
The best quote of all-time comes from Thomas Ratliff, ironically a Republican, who said:
“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. To plop this at the 11th hour and say a book that is being used, as I understand it, in over half of the classrooms in the United States is now on the verge of 15 laypeople deciding finite and specific and specialized scientific information is hardly the best way to review a book for 5 million kids.”
Props to the textbook publishers for collectively not backing down.