Science Teachers Best Friend: The Austin American-Statesman

There was an editorial in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper today entitled Put education board under a microscope. If you are a science teacher or scientist in Texas, or for that matter throughout the USA, you have to love this editorial.

The editorial announces a little known Texas House Bill 722 which will require that board meetings be broadcast—with audio and video—over the Internet and that the board Website maintain an archive of those videos.

According to the editorial writer, this bill is the first step in much need scrutiny of the State Board of Education whose members make news by questioning the theory of evolution, or claiming that global warming is bunch of hooey. The editorial writer was a bit blunt when it was stated that people in the State might find out that the board members are:

essentially anti-education and anti-intellectual and should not have anything to do with public education and textbook selection.

According to the editorial—and I strongly agree—the board wants creationism to be a part of the scientific discussion, and that in the recent hearings of the board they got a foot in the door with language requiring “all sides” of scientific theories be presented. This is a clever requirement enabling religious beliefs becoming part of the biology, earth science, and chemistry curriculum.

Apparently many of the members of the board home-school their kids, and “have the most reactionary views imaginable on life, science, education, and politics.

As a science teacher, the Austin American-Statesman has become a good friend.