Back in 2009, the Texas State Board of Education created new science guidelines that weakened the teaching of evolution. Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network stated that this was the beginning of creationism working itself into the curriculum.
“Through a series of contradictory and convoluted amendments, the board crafted a road map that creationists will use to pressure publishers into putting phony arguments attacking established science into textbooks.”
Now, as new textbooks are being developed for the next generation of Texas schoolchildren, the efforts to alter long-accepted curricula is underway. It is more than just an attack on evolution though. As the Texas Freedom Network warns, the efforts of board members is to create a “culture war” and alter “what students learn about evolution, climate change, separation of church and state, civil rights history and the contributions of minorities in our state’s and nation’s history.”
All this is being done under the guise of fairness and even-handedness, but it really is an assault on science that doesn’t fit the narrow worldview of many of the Board of Education’s members.
Barbara Cargill, the board’s chair, has set her sights on evolution as she argues that the other side isn’t being found in the textbooks.
“I couldn’t see anything that might be seen as another side to the theory of evolution. Every link, every lesson, everything, you know, was taught as ‘this is how the origin of life happened, this is what the fossil record proves,’ and all that’s fine, but that’s only one side.”
That’s a common problem with facts. There is no other side, except fiction.
Cargill and her supporters have the power to impose their beliefs over science because they control the Board of Education. They are now trying to alter what schoolchildren will be taught in Texas. Under increasing assault is science, but inconvenient history is likely to be the next victim. That which does not fit the political agenda of people like Cargill will be lessened in the textbooks.
This is a big issue for more than Texas. Texas is a big player in textbooks. Textbook publishers listen to what big states want because they are a big market. Smaller states like South Dakota or Arkansas can’t wag publishers like big-state Texas. They are forced to purchase the textbooks developed for places like Texas, whether they agree with the content or not.
That makes Texas the leader in marching American schoolchildren into the dark tunnel of ignorance.