Wall Street Journal article on Texas controversy
[Texas Board of Education Chairman] Dr. McLeroy believes that God created the earth less than 10,000 years ago. If the new curriculum passes, he says he will insist that high-school biology textbooks point out specific aspects of the fossil record that, in his view, undermine the theory that all life on Earth is descended from primitive scraps of genetic material that first emerged in the primordial muck about 3.9 billion years ago.
He also wants the texts to make the case that individual cells are far too complex to have evolved by chance mutation and natural selection, an argument popular with those who believe an intelligent designer created the universe . . . .
The Texas school board will vote after taking public testimony in a three-day meeting that starts Wednesday. Dr. McLeroy leads a group of seven social conservatives on the 15-member board. . . . .
Neither side is confident of victory. All members of the board have come under enormous pressure in recent months, especially three Republicans who support teaching evolution without references to "weaknesses." The state Republican Party passed a resolution urging the three to back Dr. McLeroy's preferred curriculum. A conservative activist group put out a news release suggesting all three were in the pocket of "militant Darwinists."
McLeroy's "preferred curriculum" includes some controversial amendments  to the science standards in addition to the "strengths and weaknesses" language. That Republican Party resolution specifically only asked those three GOP members to support the "strengths and weaknesses" language:
RESOLVED, The Republican Party of Texas, consistent with the 2008 State Republican Platform, opposes abandonment of the longstanding "strengths and weaknesses" science standard and calls upon the Republican members of the State Board of Education to support the retention of the "strengths and weaknesses" standard in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)."
Also, as I have pointed out many times, no school system inside or outside of Texas is required to use Texas-approved textbooks.
Labels: Texas controversy (new #2)