Texas Textbook Reviewer Slams Review Process

In hopes of the former, let’s learn from this and ensure that the next generation of students from our state is equipped with a solid foundation in the biological sciences and can compete globally. Future panel members should be experts in the irrespective fields, preferably practicing scientists up to date on the modern information that students need. If necessary, it might be useful to partition the TEKS to academics and professionals who deal with these topics in their work and research. We should absolutely not see network, mechanical or chemical engineers, dieticians or others making decisions or pressuring publishers to change books on biology. Let biologists do biology. We’re actually pretty good at it.

But remember, the creationist reviewers and board members think that all these scientists are part of a huge conspiracy to destroy God. That’s why they have to denigrate scientific training and put non-scientists on these committees. Imagine if the state decided to appoint a bunch of auto mechanics and ministers to the medical review board that granted medical licenses and accredited med school curricula. Everyone would immediately see that as appalling and idiotic. It is no less so here. Designing a biology curriculum should be done by biologists, not mechanics and ministers.

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19 comments on this post.
  1. Trebuchet:

    Like the fact that so many of the people reviewing the books had no science training at all:

    But neither do the students, so it’s all good! Besides, Goddidit.

  2. Modusoperandi:

    Our children are too important to trust to the experts.

  3. Mr Ed:

    Imagine if the state decided to appoint a bunch of auto mechanics and ministers to the medical review board that granted medical licenses and accredited med school curricula.

    I think this is how Texas got its restrictions safety standards for abortion clinics.

    Nice letter but it is rather obvious that conservative Christians have figured out that the only way to get the next generation of conservative Christians is willful ignorance.

  4. Gregory in Seattle:

    Is it any wonder that US students fall so abysmally low on global test scores?

  5. John Pieret:

    As Don McLeroy would say, someone has to stand up to the experts … and who better than network, mechanical or chemical engineers and dieticians? Oh, and dentists.

  6. eric:

    I look forward to the day when electronic publishing and the ability to tailor such books relatively cheaply and easily means that Texas’ textbook problems are no longer the US’ textbook problems. Yes, I’ll still be upset about the educational damage these idiots are doing to Texas kids. They should still be fought, and I’ll still support TFN. But at least the damage will be contained, and the school districts that want solid textbooks will not have to pay a price for Texas’ idiocy.

    And, frankly, I’m optimistic that the ability to do such tuning may actually help the overall quality. The reason the DI and other such organizations spend time and money to involve themselves in local Tx BOE politics is because they know of the undue influence Texas has on textbooks sold nationally. Strip away Texas’ ability to influence what goes into a book sold in the other 49 states, and suddently the ROI for interfering goes way down. It will then be an (albeit still uphill) battle of local creationists vs. local mainstreamers, rathre than a fight of national creationists vs. local maintreamers.

  7. Raging Bee:

    You fools at FTB really need to get a grip on your adware. Just looking up your main page caused my browser to freeze and close FOUR TIMES in ten minutes. And that’s not counting the increasing number of pop-under ads that my company’s nannyware blocks as “unsafe” or “inappropriate.” Don’t you people have ANY control over what sort of crap your advertizers dump on your site? Or are you so desperate for ad revenue that you no longer have the ability to impose even the most minimal standards on your paid advertizers?

  8. eric:

    @4:

    Is it any wonder that US students fall so abysmally low on global test scores?

    TFN and others could do some highly amusing (if snide) commercials on this theme. “The Texas BOE: helping Califoria seniors get into college for the past 20 years.” “As we all know, Louisiana is still suffering the ecomomic effects of Hurricane Katrina.The people of New Orleans would like to thank the Texas BOE for contributing to our economic recovery, by helping coporations and business decide to locate here, instead of there.” Etc.

  9. chilidog99:

    I wonder if they refuse or ignore his request to remove his name if he would have grounds for a lawsuit.

  10. MarcusC:

    @Raging Bee. You may want to try some basic maintenance on your computer. I’ve never had a problem with the FTB site on any of the 3 computers I generally use, and I’m sure if there was a systemic problem we’d be seeing more complaints. While the pop-under ad is mildly annoying there is only one and it only loads the first time you click something. You could use software to block it, although personally I don’t as I like the sites I visit to get their full ad revenue. I’d suggest clearing your browser cache as a minimum, that will often fix issues like browser lock ups or laggy pages.

  11. chilidog99:

    My son is a freshman in high school taking an AP biology course.
    They spent the first three weeks learning the fundamental concepts of scientific method, including different ways to evaluate data.

    According to my son, the teacher spent an entire class period delineating the difference between science and belief in god and how god was not part of the process of scientific method.

  12. zero6ix:

    It is very important for students to use critical thinking skills and give them the opportunity to weigh the evidence between evolution and “creation science.”

    And when they do, they’ll realize that there is no evidence for “creation science”, and that the term itself is an incredible misnomer. Then all those texan parents will complain that their precious children have been corrupted by libruls, and change the books again. A perfect circle of ignorance.

  13. d.c.wilson:

    Imagine if the state decided to appoint a bunch of auto mechanics and ministers to the medical review board that granted medical licenses and accredited med school curricula. Everyone would immediately see that as appalling and idiotic.

    Don’t give them any ideas! Or we’ll have to deal with licensed faith healers soon.

    Texas: Bringing the national average down for over 150 years.

  14. Larry:

    Texas: Bringing the national average down for over 150 years.

    Texas: proudly serving as the textbook definition for ignorant crackers since 1845

  15. kantalope:

    Scientists are just so darn cute. Thinking that science books in texas are about learning – it, it is just precious. I just hope the methods used for drawing congressional districts doesn’t come up. The radiation from the bursting bubble will be seen on omicron persei 8.

  16. Artor:

    Raging Bee, I’ve lost count of how many times this issue has come up, and the answer is always; No, Ed doesn’t have any control over the ads on this site. If you don’t like it, then download and install AdBlocker. It’s free, it works, and you have no excuse for throwing a tizzy fit. Download it now or STFU. I did it a few months ago, and I haven’t seen a single ad here since.

    Ed, sorry if I’m shorting you on ad revenue, but yeah, some of the ads here do really suck. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution.

  17. exdrone:

    chilidog @11,
    Your son is now over-qualified to be on the Texas SBOE science textbook review committee.

  18. timberwoof:

    Why don’t universities weigh in on this? When Kansas pulled its little stunt a few years ago, universities all around the country threatened to not honor Kansas high school diplomas. That worked.

    As for ads, if I see one that’s inappropriate because of religion or politics, I click on it. I figure it costs them while bringing money to FTB.

  19. magistramarla:

    About eight years ago, when my daughter took a biology course at our local Texas university, on the first day of class the professor said “Evolution. It happened. Get over it.” A few students got up and walked out.
    My daughter and others in the class gave him a standing ovation.
    I hope that the professors in this state are still fighting the good fight.

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