When Texas heats up discussions in the education arena, publishers tune in to see where in their content they will need to adapt next. Since the 1980's, factions have debated what should and should not be included in science standards...and this is still continuing today.
After years of controversy, the Texas State Board of Education last week gave the final seal of approval for science curriculum standards, through the substitution of some key words and phrases, allowing students to learn high school biology without being required to challenge evolution. As one might anticipate, the standards that covered evolution were the most hotly debated issue during this process.
Committees of Texas teachers and scholars have worked for months to streamline the state's science curriculum and standards, while still encouraging critical thinking. One of the goals also being to end up with a more manageable number of science standards for all grades.
Ron Wetherington, a member of the streamlining committee, states "For the first time in decades, the science standards contain no controversial student expectations and represent mainstream science. Also for the first time, the board reached out to teachers for ongoing comment on their amendments and paid attention to the experts in the classroom."
Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, Texas students will have to compare and contrast evolution and creationism, rather than be required to evaluate them.
Stay tuned as this implies the Science TEKS then will be updated soon, which EdGate will be monitoring!
Additional reading is available at: http://www.houstonpress.com/news/texas-state-board-of-education-has-softened-creationism-language-in-science-standards-9376187
By: Larry Johnson