Magazine article Church & State

Texas School Board Votes to Reject Creationist Materials

Magazine article Church & State

Texas School Board Votes to Reject Creationist Materials

Article excerpt

In a move that surprised many observers, the Texas State Board of Education voted unanimously July 22 to accept science materials for public school biology courses that do not promote creationism.

Voting 14-0, the board chose to approve supplemental classroom materials that include information about evolution. It rejected materials put forth by religiously motivated organizations that seek to undermine evolution.

Texas is not buying new science books this year but did allocate $60 million to purchase supplemental materials, some of which are delivered online. Americans United and other groups feared that Religious Right allies on the board would attempt to use the process to win support for instructional literature promoting creationism.

Sarah Weis, president of AU's Austin Chapter, submitted written testimony urging the board to disregard entreaties from the Discovery Institute and International Databases. Both of these groups proposed materials that questioned evolution and raised common Religious Right objections to it.

"Placing materials that include numerous factual errors and unsound science in Texas classrooms not only undermines science education, creates constitutional problems, and threatens the religious liberty of students and their families, but such materials deprive the students of our state from receiving a proper science education," Weis' statement read.

Texas has often been a trouble spot for scientists and civil liberties activists. …

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