A recommendation for new science curriculum standards up for state board consideration in Texas would not require that students be taught about the weaknesses in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.1
The proposed standards, drafted by committees of teachers and academics, also seek to bar teachers from discussing creationism or intelligent design in biology classes when the subject of evolution is being taught. So far, Louisiana is the only state to pass legislation that includes an academic freedom measure to protect teachers from persecution or termination when they discuss possible controversial subjects in the classroom.2
Conservative groups fear that approval of the recommendation would lead to the censoring of teachers who want to examine both the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, especially neo-Darwinian evolution. By not allowing discussion of the weaknesses in this theory, Texas students would become the unassuming victims of lying by omission, hardly a practice that promotes critical thinking.
The state Board of Education will review and vote on the standards early next year. A majority of the members have already expressed support for the current practice of covering theories’ weaknesses as well as strengths. The Board’s Chairman, Don McLeroy (R-College Station), told the Dallas Morning News he will oppose the new recommendation.
The Morning News quoted Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network as saying, “It’s time for state board members to listen to classroom teachers and true experts instead of promoting their own personal agendas.”1 Yet she and other supporters fail to acknowledge that by advocating only the pros and not the cons of neo-Darwinian evolution, they are in essence the ones “promoting their own personal agendas.”
When states around the country failed to uphold the religious and academic freedoms of students and teachers in public schools, many conservatives turned to Christian private schools and home schooling. Perhaps it’s time that secular evolutionists start private institutions of their own and stop trying to illegally impose their skewed standards in taxpayer-funded public schools.
- Stutz, T. Proposed curriculum standards in Texas would give Darwin a boost. The Dallas Morning News. Posted on DallasNews.com on September 23, 2008, accessed September 25, 2008.
- Dao, C. Louisiana the Only State to Promote Academic Freedom (So Far). ICR News. Posted on www.icr.org July 23, 2008, accessed September 25, 2008.
* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor.
Article posted on September 29, 2008.