With the Texas State Board of Education set to adopt science textbooks for public schools in 2013, this year’s state board elections are especially important. On Tuesday one state board candidate, Republican Marty Rowley of Amarillo, made it pretty clear that he would be part of the board’s anti-science faction if elected.
Check out the post on his campaign blog titled “The Evolution Agenda in Schools.” Rowley argues that new science curriculum standards adopted by the state board in 2009 got low marks in a recent review from the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute because the board had “the audacity to allow Texas schoolchildren to look at evolution as a theory instead of an indisputable fact”:
“(W)hile I don’t dispute that evolution should be taught to Texas schoolchildren, which our science curriculum apparently adequately does, I believe it is a theory, and nothing more than a theory. And if we want to turn out thinking, analytical Texas graduates, they should be allowed to view evolution in the light of the strengths and weaknesses it possesses. I say, let’s teach scientific theories, including evolution, let them stand on their own merit, and let our students make their own well-reasoned decisions as to what they believe to be the truth.”
Mainstream science long ago debunked creationists’ arguments about phony “weaknesses” of evolution. Even the State Board of Education in 2009 rejected a curriculum requirement that students study so-called “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. Still, creationists seeded the new science standards with other measures they hope will undermine teaching about evolution.
This year’s state board elections are critical to the future of public education in Texas. All 15 seats, including the one Rowley seeks in West Texas, are up for grabs. Learn about the board districts, candidates and issues on TFN’s SBOE election watch page here.