A textbook publishing company is being pressured to water down lessons on evolution and climate change in their high textbooks, according to a Texas progressive watchdog group.
The State Board of Education is considering using new science books which that may be used by some Texas public schools, as well as schools in other states, for the next decade. The board is set to hold a public hearing on the textbooks next week.
Book review panels are heavily relied upon by the Education Board. These citizen review committees can raise objections to new books before they get approved by the board.
Books that do not get full endorsements from review boards can be harder for textbook publishers to sell to school districts or can be rejected by the Board of Education.
The progressive watchdog group, Freedom Network, who monitors the Board of Education, submitted a public records request to the state education agency to access the reviewers’ objections to the textbooks.
Many of those objections were from religious conservatives who want an alternative to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution offered in textbooks and raised doubts of whether global warming is based on science.
One review of textbooks stated: “As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel very firmly that ‘creation science’ based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.”
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller on the other hand, believes personal ideologies should stay out of the textbooks.
“What our kids learn in their public schools should be based on mainstream, established science,” Miller said on Monday, according to Dallas News. “Not the personal views of ideologues, especially those who are grossly unqualified to evaluate a biology textbook in the first place.”
The Texas Freedom Network says that of the 12 reviewers who participated in group reviews, at least five have previously stated creationist beliefs.
Source: Associated Press, DallasNews.com