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Welcome To
Texas Citizens for Science
 
Defending the Integrity, Accuracy, and Reliability
of Science Education in Texas since 1980
 
"What Texas Schools Need Is a Moment of Science!"
 
TCS Email Address: texscience@ymail.com
TCS Public Email List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/texnews/
TCS Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/texscience/
TCS on Twitter: @TexScience

Steven Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science,
is now a candidate for the Texas State Board of Education, District 15.
Please visit his
campaign website for more information.

New investigative reports about issues affecting Texas public schools
and education will begin to appear here soon.


Texas Citizens for Science Responds to the
Thomas Fordham Institute's
The State of State Science Standards, 2012

Press Release

2012 January 31

Today the Thomas Fordham Institute releases its latest review of state science standards, giving Texas a C grade for its efforts. Texas deserves a C, but it should have an A, and it would have earned an A if the ideologically-driven and activist Republican members of the Texas State Board of Education had not voted to edit, manipulate, censor, distort, and corrupt the science standards presented to them by panels of scientists, science curriculum experts, and science teachers in 2009. The standards were not perfect, but they were much better than the final version that resulted after the State Board did its dirty work by a series of 8-7 votes to amend the standards. The best science standards Texas could adopt are those of the Common Core State Standards coalition, thereby completely eliminating the scientifically-ignorant and politically-motivated members of the Texas State Board of Education.


A Framework for K-12 Science Education:
Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas

NOW AVAILABLE from the National Academies of Science Press

Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to meeting many of humanity's most pressing challenges, both present and future. To address the critical issues of U.S. competitiveness and to better prepare the workforce, Framework for K-12 Science Education proposes a new approach to K-12 science education that will capture students' interest and provide them with the necessary foundational knowledge in the field.


Texas Governor Rick Perry is Running for President
and Making Quite a Name for Himself

2011 August 18 - Rick Perry's Anthropogenic Climate Change Denialism and Endorsement of Creationism

2011 June 14 - The Politicization of Public Education in Texas: Background of State Funding of Public Education, Texas Biology Curriculum Standards, and the Texas Education Agency Biology Panel Review


Texas Adoption of New Digital
Supplemental Biology Instructional Materials
is Still Fraught with Politicization

2011 August 26 - Press Release: Politicization of Science Instructional Materials Adoption Continues at the Texas Education Agency

2011 August 19 - Did Science Win or Lose With the Adoption of Supplemental Biology Instructional Materials in Texas? The Commissioner of Education agrees with the changes submitted by Holt McDougal, but politicization of the Biology adoption process continues in Texas.

2011 August 10 - Anita Givens to SBOE Memo about Biology Instructional Materials Revisions

2011 July 27 - Chart of Holt McDougal Revisions To Its Supplemental Biology Instructional Materials As Accepted by the Texas Commissioner of Education

2011 July 26 - TCS Scientific Analysis of David Shormann's Bogus "Errors" in the Holt McDougal Supplemental Biology Instructional Materials

2011 July 26 - Creationist Error List and Holt McDougal Original Response to Errors Reported by Biology Panel to TEA

2011 July 26 - Original Shormann Creationist Biology Panel Review of Holt McDougal Biology Materials

2011 July 21-22 - Live Blog of July 21 Public Testimony and July 22 SBOE Adoption of Science Materials

2011 July 21 - TCS President Steven Schafersman's July 21 Public Testimony

2011 July 20 - Correction needed in the McGraw Hill Glencoe and Holt McDougal Supplemental Biology Materials about the History of the Endosymbiotic Theory

2011 July 20 - Correction needed about the use of Ernst Haeckel's vertebrate embryo diagrams and a discussion of the Evaluation submitted to TEA by the Discovery Institute

Below is essential background information about the attempted intrusion of Intelligent Design Creationism into the new supplemental science instructional materials by the Texas SBOE:

2011 June 14 - The Politicization of Public Education in Texas

2009 May 14 - Texas Science Standards and March Madness: Did We Win or Lose?


The Texas Drought

 

2011 June 2 - Dealing with Drought, Freshwater Shortages, and Climate Change

2011 May 2 - Groundwater and the Rule of Capture

2011 April 28 - Anthropogenic Climate Change and Climate Science Denialism

2011 April 28 - Impacts of Climate Change to Western Water Resources

2011 April 19 - Permanent Drought in the Southwestern United States

2012 February 17 - USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Maps
 


Older Investigative Reports and Essays

2009 October 19 - Governor Rick Perry's Education Report Card: F
http://www.texscience.org/reviews/gov-perry-report-card-2009Oct19.htm

2009 October 7 - Darwin's Darkest Hour: A Review of the Television Drama
http://www.texscience.org/reviews/darwin's-darkest-hour-2009Oct7.htm

2009 September 16-17 - An Illustrated Description of the Texas State Board of Education Meetings on Social Studies Standards and An Investigation of David Barton's American Christian Heritage Display
http://www.texscience.org/blogs/sboe-social-studies-2009Sept16-18.htm

2009 August 11 - Bill Dembski Engages Culture in a Unique Way: Rewarding Blog Trolls
http://www.texscience.org/blogs/dembski-rewards-blog-trolls.htm

2009 July 10 - Gail Lowe Appointed the New Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education
http://www.texscience.org/blogs/lowe-appointed-sboe-chair.htm

2009 May 14 - Texas Science Standards and March Madness: Did We Win or Lose?
http://www.texscience.org/reports/texas-science-standards-final-2009May14.htm

2009 April 22 - June 1 - Don McLeroy Not Confirmed as Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education
http://www.texscience.org/reports/mcleroy-nomination-not-confirmed.htm

2009 April 20 - The Institute for Creation Research Brings a Flawed Lawsuit Against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; Texas Citizens for Science Claims ICR Has No Legal Justification for Its Litigation
http://www.texscience.org/releases/icr/ICR-lawsuit-analysis-2009April20.htm

2009 April 14 - Senate Bill 2275 Will Remove Texas State Board of Education Authority Over Curriculum Standards and Textbook Selection
http://www.texscience.org/releases/SB2275-press-release-2009April13.htm

2009 April 1 - Chris Comer v. Texas Education Agency Lawsuit Dismissed
http://www.texscience.org/news/comer/comer-lawsuit-dismissed-2009April1.htm

2009 March 14 - House Bill 4224 Would Return "Strengths and Weaknesses" to Texas Science Standards and Allow Students and Teachers to Express Creationist Beliefs Without Penalty -- HB 4224 is the Texas Academic Freedom Bill
http://www.texscience.org/reports/HB4224-return-weaknesses-2009March14.htm

2009 March 12 - Proposed House Bill 2800 Will Exempt the Institute for Creation Research from the Law that Governs the Awarding of Science Degrees by Texas Institutions of Higher Learning
http://www.texscience.org/reports/HB2800-exempt-ICR-2009March12.htm

2009 March 11 - New Identical Education Bills, SB 3 and HB 3, Will Change Texas Public Education Forever
http://www.texscience.org/reviews/SB3-HB3-analysis-2009March11.htm

2009 February 18 - Bad Education Bills, HB 1216 and 1503, Have Been Filed in the Texas Legislature That Will Reduce Math and Science Graduation Requirements
http://www.texscience.org/reports/highschool-graduation-curriculum-2009Feb18.htm

2009 February 13 - The Battle of the Evolution Polls
http://www.texscience.org/news/battle-evolution-polls-2009feb13.htm

2009 February 12 - Happy Darwin Day!
http://www.texscience.org/reviews/darwin-day.htm

2009 February 6 - Darwin Day in Houston, February-April 2009
http://www.texscience.org/releases/darwin-day-2009.htm

2008 December 31 - Science-Based Education Critical for Students' Future
http://www.texscience.org/news/mrt-evolution.htm


Ideology and Politics Trump Science in Texas!
Some New Texas Science Standards Are
Compromised and Flawed

New Texas Science Standards were finally adopted on March 25 but the process was politicized by Fundamentalist Religious ideologues. Several Biology and Earth and Space Science standards were censored to remove scientific information and to create the possibility that anti-evolution, pro-Intelligent Design Creationism content could be inserted into science textbooks later.

Radical Religious-Right and Young Earth Creationist members of the State Board of Education voted as a bloc to damage some science standards. They picked up some votes of others Board members to adopt the flawed and substandard standards. In this case, compromising with Biblical Literalists also compromised science education in Texas.

2009 May 14 - Texas Science Standards and March Madness: Did We Win or Lose?
http://www.texscience.org/reports/texas-science-standards-final-2009May14.htm

2009 April 10 - Texas Citizens for Science Responds to Discovery Institute Attacks on Texas Scientists
http://www.texscience.org/reviews/di-attacks/

2009 April 8 - Official Texas State Board of Education Science Standards Summary and Votes
http://www.texscience.org/pdf/sboe-votes-2009.htm

2009 April 7 - Official Public Comments for Proposed Science Standards Compiled by the Texas Education Agency Science Staff
http://www.texscience.org/pdf/science-public-comments/

2009 March 31 - Live Blogs of the Texas State Board of Education Meeting, 2009 March 25-27
http://www.texscience.org/meetings/sboe-live-blog-2009March25-27.htm
This includes links to news reports and editorials, State Board minutes, and audio files.

2009 March 23 - National and State Science Association Statements about Texas Science Standards

Numerous national and state science associations have written letters to the Texas State Board of Education asking that the Science Standards be adopted as written by the original science panels and without unscientific amendments made by nonscientist State Board of Education members. Dozens of other national and state science associations have signed a statement asking for the same thing. This statement will be released on Wednesday, March 25, at the Texas Education Agency in Austin at an 11:30 a.m. press conference just before public testimony begins. Several prominent scientists and science advocates will speak at the press conference.

Here are five of the letters. (These are all PDF files.)

2009 March 14 - Don McLeroy, Confused Again
http://www.texscience.org/reviews/mcleroy-confused-again.htm

2009 February 10 - Serial Misrepresentations and Inaccuracies from a Texas Anti-Science Polemicist and Agitator
http://www.texscience.org/reports/tbse-errors-2009feb10.htm

2009 February 7 - News of the Death of the Tree of Life Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
http://www.texscience.org/reports/sboe-tree-life-2009feb7.htm

2009 February 3 - Take That, Charles Garner! Baylor University Teaches Evolution
http://www.texscience.org/releases/charles-garner-baylor.htm

2009 January 31 - Creationist State Board of Education Members Attack Common Ancestry and the Tree of Life
http://www.texscience.org/reports/sboe-common-ancestry-2009Jan31.htm

2009 January 29 - Report of the Earth and Space Science TEKS Working Group Concerning the Five Amendments Passed by the State Board of Education on January 22, 2009
http://www.texscience.org/reports/ESS-Report-Final-2009Jan29.htm

2009 January 27 - News Reports about the Texas State Board of Education meetings of 2009 January 21-23
http://www.texscience.org/reports/sboe-science-standards-news-reports-2009jan21-23.htm

2009 January 25 - Links to Amendments, Votes, Audio Files, and Live Blogs from the Texas State Board of Education meetings of 2009 January 21-22
http://www.texscience.org/reports/sboe-amendments-votes-audio-2009jan21-22.htm

2009 January 25 - Live Blogs of the Texas State Board of Education Meeting, 2009 January 21-23
http://www.texscience.org/meetings/sboe-live-blog-2009January21-23.htm
This includes links to news reports and editorials, audio files, and other resources.

2009 January 19 - Comment on an Austin American-Statesman News Report
http://www.texscience.org/news/aas-comment-2009jan19.htm

2009 January 17 - The Rhetoric and History of the False and Unscientific "Weaknesses" of Evolution
http://www.texscience.org/reports/weaknesses-evolution-jan2009.htm

2009 January 15 - Young Earth Creationist Attack on the New Texas Earth and Space Science Course: A Scientific Response
http://www.texscience.org/reports/ess-response-yec-2009jan15.htm

2009 January 13 - Let's Get Ready to Rumble! Science v. ID Creationism Smackdown, January 21, Austin
http://www.texscience.org/releases/texas-kangaroo-smackdown.htm

2009 January 13 - Please Help Defend the New Texas Earth and Space Science Course
http://www.texscience.org/releases/defend-earth-space-science.htm

2009 January 12 - Texas Science Standards Will Be Debated and Voted On During January 21-23: Public and Expert Testimony Will Be Heard
http://www.texscience.org/reviews/science-standards-jan-2009.htm

2008 November 25 - Live Blog of the Texas State Board of Education Meeting, 2008 November 19
http://www.texscience.org/meetings/sboe-live-blog-2008November19.htm

2008 November 13 - Message to Texas Citizens for Science Members and Supporters About the Public Testimony for Texas Science Standards
http://www.texscience.org/releases/2008nov19-science-standards.htm

Visit Teach Them Science for an excellent and beautifully-designed website devoted to informing the public about the attack on science standards in Texas by politically-organized and aggressive Creationists and how to respond.

Texas Citizens for Science President Steven Schafersman will live blog (with photos) the entire three days of public and expert testimony, State Board of Education debate and voting, and the press conferences. The live blogs will be posted here on the TCS website. In addition, any person can go to the Texas Education Agency homepage and listen to a live audio feed of the hearing in progress.


Older Investigative Reports and Essays

2008 November 6 - The Expert Feedback Reports of Three Texas Science Professors and Three Anti-Scientific Intelligent Design Creationists Are Now Avaiable

The Expert Feedback Reports of the three anti-scientific Intelligent Design Creationists and the three mainstream science professors and educators appointed by members of the Texas State Board of Education are now available online. A detailed analysis of the three reports by the Creationsts will be published on this site soon.

You may leave comments about this report on Schafersman's blog column in the Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere Blog.


2008 October 28 - The Discovery Institute and Texans for Better Science Education Engage in the Swiftboating of Christine Castillo Comer

A new Investigative Report by TCS President Dr. Steven Schafersman reveals the true story about the attempt by the Discovery Institute and Texans for Better Science Education to Swiftboat Christine Castillo Comer, the former Texas Education Agency Director of Science who was illegally forced to resign over a forwarded email message that announced an upcoming pro-evolution, anti-Intelligent Design Creationism presentation. The TCS Report shows why the TBSE press release and timeline and the DI column contain errors that have all the characteristics of a classic political smear.

You may leave comments about this report on Schafersman's blog column in the Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere Blog.


2008 October 15 - Texas Citizens for Science Strongly Criticizes the Texas State Board of Education for Nominating Three Anti-Evolutionists and Intelligent Design Creationists to the Six-Member Science Standards Review Panel

The Texas State Board of Education is at it again. This time some members have nominated three anti-evolution Intelligent Design Creationists to the six-person panel of university science professors that is supposed to review the draft science standards written by panels of scientists and science teachers. TCS President Dr. Steven Schafersman has prepared a Report and News Release that contains information about these three individuals with links to the documents that demonstrates why the two out-of-state nominees are unfit to be members of the review panel.

You may leave comments about this report on Schafersman's blog column in the Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere Blog.


2008 October 14 - Texas Citizens for Science Supports Laura Ewing for State Board of Education District 7, the Beaumont, Galveston, and Eastern Greater Houston area.

Her opponent, Radical Religious Right Republican David Bradley, is unfit for the office for many reasons. Texas Citizens for Science is happy to reprint a Laura Ewing Campaign Flyer here. TCS President Steven Schafersman will have much more to say about the Ewing-Bradley race and other State Board of Education races in his Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere Blog.


2008 October 1 - 21st Century Science Coalition is Launched in Texas to Oppose Anti-Evolutionists

Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin held a press conference in Austin on September 30 to launch the newly-formed 21st Century Science Coalition to defend the accuracy and reliability of science education in Texas public schools. You can read about this new coalition in a brief TCS report about the new 21st Century Science Coalition.

You may leave comments about this report on Schafersman's blog column in the Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere Blog.


2008 September 28 - Radical Texas State Board of Education Members Attempt to Force Their Sectarian Religious Views on Public Schools Using a Discredited and Unconstitutional Bible Curriculum

Texas Citizens for Science President Steven Schafersman has written an Investigative Report about four Radical Religious-Right Republican members of the Texas State Board of Education who have misused their office by promoting an unconstitutional and inaccurate Bible curriculum. The report looks at several reasons why their act is unethical and may be illegal, and it examines the history of the Texas Bible curriculum bill and law.

You may leave comments about this report on Schafersman's blog column in the Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere Blog.


2008 September 26 - Texas Citizens for Science Vice-President Paul Murray Reviews "What Every Christian Should Know About Intelligent Design" by William Dembski

Texas Citizens for Science Vice-President Paul Murray attended "The Bible and Modern Science Conference" of the Center for Christian Apologetics in Houston, Texas. He attended several of the presentations including the one by Intellligent Design authority William Dembski titled "What Every Christian Should Know about Intelligent Design." He recorded and transcribed Dembski's presentation, and reviews it in What Every Rational Person Should Know About ID.


2008 September 25 - The Texas Education Agency Has Released the New K-12 Draft Science Standards for Public Review and Comment. TCS President Dr. Steven Schafersman Reports on the New Standards and Reviews the Biology Standards

Every ten years, the Texas Education Agency must revise the curriculum standards for the various disciplines in public schools. The standards are followed by authors and publishers for textbook content, by teachers for course content, and by the TEA for standardized end-of-course exams. This year and early next year it is the turn of Science. The just-completed revision of the English Language Arts and Reading standards was highly contentious, and Science standards are likely to be equally controversial. The proposed new and revised science standards are now available for public reading and comment. Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman has written a Report about the standards and also briefly reviews the newly revised Biology standards.

You may leave comments about this report on Schafersman's blog column in the Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere Blog.


2008 August 15 - Texas Education Agency Approves Expansion of Grades 3-8 Online Education for Texas Virtual Academy Using the Anti-Science K12 Curriculum Once Promoted by William Bennett

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman has written an Investigative Report that exposes the anti-science K12 curriculum used by the new Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA) at Southwest Schools in Houston, Texas. The TXVA was designed to funnel public tax money to Christian Fundamentalist and Biblically Literalist families who homeschool their children, and now it has just been approved by the TEA for use in several more large cities in the state. The TXVA uses the discredited K12 curriculum once promoted by William Bennett, which avoids the e-word and allows parents to keep their children ignorant of evolutionary biology. Both TEA and K12 plan to help homeschooled students remain uneducated about evolution by allowing students to skip the evolution sections of their science courses and keeping standardized state 10th-grade end-of-course biology exams free of questions about evolution (but perhaps including a few questions about bogus "weaknesses" of evolution). Readers may also consult the News Articles and Editorials that have dealt with this topic since 2001.

TCS President Schafersman wrote about this topic in a 2003 article about the K12 Anti-Science Curriculum of Virtual Charter Schools just before the Legislature considered and rejected it. Unfortunately, this ugly, smelly beast did not die a natural death, but was kept hidden until the Commissioner of Education could release it to the thousands of families that want to give their children a religious, anti-scientific education at taxpayer expense. Ultimately, with the TXVA, Texans will pay for a third-rate science education that further fails our students while shoveling millions of dollars of public tax money to right-wing virtual academies and politically-connected, anti-science, online curricula companies.

You may leave comments about this report on Schafersman's blog column in the Houston Chronicle Evo.Sphere Blog.


2008 August 13 - Members and Supporters of Texas Citizens for Science in Houston Can Register for Free for the Bible and Modern Science Conference sponsored by the Center for Christian Apologetics

The Center for Christian Apologetics is sponsoring a Creationism conference in Houston on Saturday, August 23. The title is The Bible and Modern Science: What Every Christian Should Know. One of the organizers of the conference, Kurt Wise, Director of CCA, has offered free registration to the first ten atheist members of TCS who request registration by email. Hopefully, CCA will also allow some of the religious members of TCS free registration, too. Request soon to be among the first ten, and certainly before August 18, when registration closes. Seating is limited.


2008 August 12 - Texas Citizens for Science President Now Has a New Texas Evolution and Education Blog on the Houston Chronicle Website

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman now has a new blog on the Houston Chronicle website named Evo.Sphere in which he writes columns about evolution and education in Texas. He shares this new blog with five University of Houston biology professors who write about evolutionary biology. The Chronicle has two other new science blogs named Atmo.Sphere that covers climate issues and Cosmo.Sphere that covers space science. These new blogs were initiated by Eric Berger, the Chronicle's science writer who has a blog named SciGuy.

Here is a list of the first nine blog columns in the order written.

  1. New Blog about Evolution and Education in Texas
  2. Did Thomas Jefferson Believe in Intelligent Design Creationism?
  3. Let's Explore "Explore Evolution"
  4. The Disjunctive Duality of Science Distinction
  5. Evolving Toward a Compromise
  6. Was Thomas Jefferson a Deist? Is Science the Best Describer of Reality?
  7. The Evolutionary Origins of Religion
  8. Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, and Warren Chisum: Let's Get Them Out of the Way
  9. Texas Education Agency Approves Expansion of Grades 3-8 Online Education for Texas Virtual Academy Using the Anti-Science K12 Curriculum Once Promoted by William Bennett

Columns, commentaries, and reviews by Steven Schafersman which formerly appeared on the TCS website will now be found on the Evo.Sphere blog. A list of titles with direct links to the blog posts will be kept updated here. Long research articles, essays, and public testimonies will continue to appear here.


2008 July 20 - Testimony about Texas Science Standards to the State Board of Education in Austin, 2008 July 17, by TCS President Steven Schafersman

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman presented Testimony to the Texas State Board of Education about the scientifically inappropriate language of "strengths and weaknesses" in the state's science standards. He advocated that the standards be revised to remove this poor language.


2008 July 15 - Texas Citizens for Science Testimony to the House Public Education Committee in Austin, 2008 July 16, concerning the Texas State Board of Education

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman's Testimony to the Texas House Public Education Committee concerning the illegal and damaging activities of the Texas State Board of Education is now available. In the testimony, TCS documents the continuing efforts of the SBOE to censor science textbooks and injure science standards.


2008 July 13 - Science Education in Texas: Keeping It Religion-Free. Speakers to Highlight Dangers of Creationism Encroaching into the Public Schools.

The event is at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday evening, July 16, UT Austin Campus, Burdine Hall, Room 108.
Admission is free, and free parking is available at C Lot after 5:45 p.m. and in the LBJ Lot anytime.

Science education in Texas is under attack as never before, as evidenced by the recent ouster of State Director of Science Education Christine Castillo Comer for the offense of promoting science education. Now, as Comer pursues her lawsuit for wrongful termination, the Center for Inquiry-Austin, Texas Citizens for Science, and University of Texas Section of Integrative Biology invite the public to a forum on the fight to keep evolution at the forefront in science education.

Speakers and talks include:

Steven Schafersman - How Will Texas Oppose Aggressive, Organized Creationism in Texas?
Schafersman is a 22-year veteran college and university science professor, and founder of the Texas Citizens for Science, where he has been president since 1980. His talk will focus on how Texas science supporters will oppose the continuing efforts of those who willfully demean science education.

Ed Brayton - Yes Virginia, It Really Is All About Religion.
Brayton, founder and president of Michigan Citizens for Science, is the voice behind the popular blogs Dispatches from the Culture Wars and The Panda's Thumb. He will show, despite claims to the contrary by proponents, the solely religious nature of the Intelligent Design movement.

Josh Rosenau - Nothing New Under the Sun: The Evolution of Creationism.
Rosenau, a staffer at the National Center for Science Education, describes the central irony of the creation-evolution controversy-how rapidly and frequently creationism evolves. He will show how creationist strategies have changed, what to expect in the future, and how to protect accurate science education in the public schools.

A question and answer period will follow the talks.


2008 July 13 - Texas Citizens for Science Reviews the New Lousisian Science Education Act that was Inspired by the Discovery Institute's Academic Freedom Bill

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman will soon complete an essay review about new Lousisian Science Education Act that permits and even encourages public school science instructors to teach pseudoscientific objections to evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning. The new law implicitly even allows teachers to teach various forms of Creationism, including Intelligent Design Creationism, and allows school districts to purchase Creationist "supplemental textbooks" such as Explore Evolution. Several states came close to passing this notorious anti-scientific legislation, but Louisiana was the first to be deceived. Until the essay is completed, please visit the webpage that contains News Articles and Editorials about this new law.


2008 July 13 - Texas Citizens for Science Reviews the Lawsuit Filed Against the Texas Education Agency by Christine Castillo Comer

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman will soon complete an essay review about the Chris Comer lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency that analyzes the Petition's legal arguments. Until then, please visit the webpage that contains News Articles and Editorials about this story. Also, you can obtain a copy of the Chris Comer Lawsuit Petition on the TCS website.


2008 June 4 - Texas Citizens for Science Reviews the Efforts of Creationist Members of the Texas State Board of Education to Force "Weaknesses" of Evolution into the Texas Science Standards

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman has written an essay review about the efforts of Biblical Creationists on the Texas State Board of Education to Keep Anti-Science "Weaknesses" in the Texas science standards. The seven radical religious right members of the Texas SBOE want to keep the "strengths and weaknesses" language currently in the Texas science standards and add specific alleged but bogus "weaknesses of evolution" to further undermine science education in the state. The essay reviews two long and important news reports just published about the forthcoming Texas science standards revision and provides valuable context and historical information about the "weaknesses" language. It also looks at the humorous responses by Discovery Institute officers who apparently based their critiques of one of the news articles on only its headline.


2008 June 2 - Texas Citizens for Science Reports on the Petition of the Institute for Creation Research to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board That Details the ICR Grounds for Appeal ("Viewpoint Discrimination") and Expected Courtroom Litigation

Texas Citizens for Science has written a Review of ICR's Petition that comments on the recent Petition for Contested Case Status the ICR has published to appeal the decision of the THECB to deny its appliction for the right to award Masters of Science Degrees in Science Education. The ICR Petition (45 MB PDF file) is written in the form of a legal brief and is obviously meant to suggest that litigation will be forthcoming if the Petition is not granted. The Petition spells out the legal theories that the ICR plans to use in a court battle, specifically "viewpoint discrimination," which is illegal in some circumstances but not in this case according to TCS President Dr. Steven Schafersman.


2008 May 11 - Texas Citizens for Science Reviews the Creationist Pseudo-Documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Refutes the False Argument that "Darwinism" Leads to Euthanasia, Naziism, and the Holocaust, and Responds to a Midland, Texas, Newspaper's Favorable Review of Expelled

Texas Citizens for Science President Dr. Steven Schafersman has written a Review of the Creationist pseudo-documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed that refutes its false argument that science and evolution ("Darwinism") led directly to involuntary sterilization, euthanasia, Naziism, and the Holocaust. The Review also reprints a published letter to the editor of the Midland Reporter-Telegram that responds to a credulous and misleading positive review of Expelled by the paper's entertainment editor.


2008 April 29 - Texas Citizens for Science Claims the Institute for Creation Research Continues to Falsely Advertise its Masters Degree in Science Education Despite Having No Accreditation or Certification

Texas Citizens for Science, an advocacy organization whose purpose is to defend the accuracy and reliability of science in Texas public education, claims in a Press Release that the Institute for Creation Research continues to fraudulently advertise its M.S. Degree in Science Education. "ICR abandoned its TRACS accreditation in November, 2007, and they failed to win official Texas Certification to offer the degree while they seek new accreditation from an accrediting association recognized in Texas," says TCS President Steven Schafersman. "ICR has never been a degree mill in the past, but now they are beginning to act like one unless they have some secret accreditation we don't know about." The Texas Citizens for Science Press Release also responds to ICR's published negative reaction to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's decision to reject the ICR application.

Update: The THECB Media Advisory (PDF file) that contains an Overview, FAQs, and the Commissioner's Recommendation on the ICR Request for Certification is now available online. In addition, the THECB has made available all of its public record ICR Documents on a single page of its website, including the scientist and science educator evaluation of the revised ICR proposal, the original staff recommendation to deny ICR its request, and ICR's THECB Progress Report listed below. Finally, ICR has published Academic Freedom in the Balance, an essay that describes their view of the controversy and the legal theory (academic freedom) they intend to use in future litigation, and also made available their 371-page THECB Progress Report, the complete set of documents ICR submitted to the THECB for the revised proposal. The latest ICR Acts & Facts newsletter, May 2008, has finally changed the back cover to remove the ad that states that one can earn a "M.S. Degree in Science Education" from ICR.


2008 April 21 - Texas Citizens for Science Will Ask the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to Deny the Request of the Institute for Creation Research for a Certificate of Authority to Award Masters Degrees in Science Education

On April 23 in Austin, Texas Citizens for Science will request that members of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board deny the request of the Institute for Creation Research for a official Certificate of Authority to be able to grant masters degrees in science education. The ICR is a "creation-science research group" and a "Christian ministry," as described by its own president, not a legitimate science education institution. Furthermore, its graduate program teaches Creationist pseudoscience, not legitimate science or science education, and it fails to meet several of the published THECB Standards for graduate degree programs in Texas. The evidence for these statements can be found in the Public Testimony of TCS President Steven Schafersman.

Update: A collection of news articles, letters, and essays about ICR and the April meetings of the THECB.


2008 April 15 - National Center for Science Education has Created an Outstanding Website that Exposes Expelled, the Creationist Faux-Documentary, and Has a Video of Chris Comer, Who Was Really Expelled (by the Texas Education Agency) for Possessing Pro-Science Sentiments

Millions of dollars have been spent promoting Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed to fundamentalist church groups, but that money would have been better spent on fact checkers. www.ExpelledExposed.com, a website launched today by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), reveals the truth behind the creationist movie's misrepresentations. Throughout the movie, Ben Stein claims that "Big Science" represses intelligent design to advance an atheistic agenda, but that is a Creationist "Big Lie." Many evolutionary scientists, such as Ken Miller and Francis Collins, are theists. Intelligent Design fails on scientific grounds, not because of atheistic philosophy. Evolution is just a natural process, with no universally-agreed upon theistic implications except those in the minds of individuals. Evolution did demolish the argument from design, but such arguments are not the reason most people believe in God. More insidious is the movie's attempt to link evolution to racism and the Holocaust, for that is also untrue--in fact, it is a vicious libel (see "Darwinism is Racism": Refutation of a Creationist Argument). The new NCSE Expelled Exposed website is a resource for journalists, teachers, and curious moviegoers who want the full story behind the Creationist faux-documentary Expelled. Read the NCSE Expelled Exposed Press Release.


2008 February 29 - Texas Citizens for Science Reveals the Young-Earth Creationist Beliefs of Fort Worth State Board of Education Candidate Barney Maddox

UPDATE: 2008 March 5 - Pat Hardy and Mary Helen Berlanga win their primary elections!

The Texas primary on March 4 is a potentially dangerous day for math, English, and especially science education in Texas public schools. Young-Earth Creationist Barney Maddox is challenging incumbant Pat Hardy for the District 11 Fort Worth position on the State Board of Education. Barney Maddox demonstrates little understanding of modern science; instead, he is an aggressive advocate for the most credulous and vulgar form of Creationism. Texas Citizens for Science explains why, in a new report titled Young-Earth Creationist Barney Maddox is an Unqualified Candidate for the Texas State Board of Education, Barney Maddox would be a disaster for Texas education if he won the primary. The report analyzes his Creationist writings and explains why they are illogical and deceptive.

Update: A collection of news articles, letters, and essays about Barney Maddox and the March 4 primary is available.


Updated! 2008 March 26 - Texas Citizens for Science Reviews the Attempt by the Religious Right Members of the State Board of Education to Force Discredited English Language Arts Standards Onto Texas English Teachers

On 2008 February 13, the extreme-right members of the Texas SBOE proposed a motion to consolidate updated English Language Arts (ELA) standards written in 1997 by Conservative Donna Garner with the official proposed TEA standards written by Texas ELA teachers with the help of a StandardsWork facilitator. About 25 ELA teachers testified against this power play, and several Republican and Democratic SBOE members spoke against it. Texas Citizens for Science analyzes this episode in detail in a new report, Texas State Board of Education Members Attempt to Adopt Discredited ELA Standards. The reason for the report is because the same right-wing SBOE members could try the same thing with substitute biology standards written by the Discovery Institute later this year.

Updated! 2008 May 24 A collection of news articles and essays about the realignment of ELA standards is available.


2008 February 11 - Texas Citizens for Science Reviews the Illegal Rejection of a Math Textbook by the Texas State Board of Education

In 2007 November, under unusual circumstances, the Texas SBOE precipitously and without statutory justification rejected a McGraw Hill mathematics textbook from the conforming math textbook list. The math text rejection was illegal and many individuals criticized the State Board for this action. Then, in 2008 January, a majority of SBOE members refused to allow a minority report about the math textbook rejection incident into the record. Why is this episode important for science textbooks and science education? Texas Citizens for Science explains all in a new report, Texas State Board of Education's Rejection of a Math Textbook is Illegal, that reveals why the SBOE rejected the math book and analyzes the illogical and illegal reasons that SBOE member Terri Leo uses to justify the rejection.

Update: A collection of news articles and editorials about the illegal SBOE math textbook rejection is available.


2008 February 6 - Texas Citizens for Science Responds to the Discovery Institute's Effort to Damage Proposed Science Standards in Florida (and Texas) by Inserting "Critiques" of Evolution

A retired engineer in Florida, who happens to be a member of the Framers' Committee for Florida's new science standards, has submitted a minority report to request that "students should learn why some scientists give scientific critiques of standard models of neo-Darwinian evolution or models of the chemical origin of life." Responding to this well-known Creationist ploy--part of the Discovery Institute's anti-science marketing strategy to damage science standards in several states--Texas Citizens for Science has written a report, The Alleged "Weaknesses" or "Critiques" of "Darwinism," that refutes the DI's argument.


2008 February 9 - Texas Citizens for Science Responds to the "Darwinism is Racism" Creationist Argument

A sociology professor and pastoral counselor repeats the ancient Creationist argument that "Darwinism is Racism" in an op-ed column in The Philadelpia Inquirer. Not one to let a deliberate anti-Darwin misrepresentation go un-refuted, Texas Citizens for Science has written a Refutation of the "Darwinism is Racism" Argument. Updated with information about Ken Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis and the country's largest Creation Museum.


2008 January 15 - The Institute for Creation Research Proposes a New Argument to Support Its Effort To Obtain Texas Certification for Its Masters Degree Program in Science Education

In an email message to its friends, the Institute for Creation Research proposes what TCS terms The Disjunctive Duality of Science Distinction, a new argument to support its effort to obtain Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approval for its masters degree program in science education. The argument is actually an old one. It posits that two types of science exist, "experimental" science and "forensic, historical, or orgins" science. Only the first is real science, while the second--which, needless to say, includes evolutionary biology--is not a reliable science. Texas Citizens for Science posts the ICR message and provides a brief refutation of the argument.


A new book is available from the
National Academy of Sciences:
Science, Evolution, and Creationism, 2008 Edition

 
Read this FREE online!
The National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine have released SCIENCE, EVOLUTION, AND CREATIONISM, a book designed to give the public a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom. Recent advances in science and medicine, along with an abundance of observations and experiments over the past 150 years, have reinforced evolution's role as the central organizing principle of modern biology, said the committee that wrote the book.

The Academy, which operates under Congressional mandate to advise the government on scientific matters, issued the report at a time when the theory of evolution, first proposed in the 19th century, faces renewed attack by religious Creationists in the United States. Despite the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution, opponents have repeatedly tried to introduce nonscientific views into public school science classes through the teaching of various forms of creationism, intelligent design, or bogus "weaknesses" of evolution. Copies of the press release and news articles are available.


2007 December 20 - Texas Citizens for Science Investigation Reveals the Monetary Reasons of the Institute for Creation Research to Win Certification from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Texas Citizens for Science has written a Press Release that describes the major motivation for the rapid, incompetent, and--until now--stealthy process of the ICR site evaluation and certification approval by two committees of the THECB. ICR is on-track to make millions of dollars by charging tuition from students in the U.S. and many foreign countries for its new on-line distance education Graduate School Creationism program. Upon completion of the on-line course of study and full payment of fees to the ICR, each student will be awarded a legal, authentic, and Texas-certified Masters Degree in Science Education. This money-making but pseudoscientific travesty depends on winning certification from the THECB, which until now has been progressing smoothly and quietly.


2007 December 17 (Updated 2008 January 6 and 28) - Texas Citizens for Science Investigation Reveals the Hidden Agenda of the Institute for Creation Research to Gain Accreditation in Texas to Award Master's Degrees in Science Education

Also, TCS Posts the Official Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Report of Evaluation of ICR

Texas Citizens for Science has written a Report on The Institute for Creation Research and its ongoing effort to deceive the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and convince it to give ICR the Certification it wants. ICR will probably not mention that California refused to give ICR it's official State Certification, or mention the Biblical Literalist TRACS accreditation ICR had for many years but recently terminated, or acknowledge that ICR's true purpose is not to educate students about science but to pervert science education in the United States. To cap it off, TCS has obtained and posted the official THECB Report of Evaluation of ICR and ICR's Response. Also now available is the full record of ICR's quest for accreditation in California, Degrees of Folly by William Bennetta. You won't believe what is in these documents!

Update: A collection of news articles and editorials about ICR's application for THECB certification is available.


2007 December 14 - The Institute of Creation Research wants the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to Give ICR Certification to Seek Accreditation to Grant Graduate Degrees in Science Education in Texas

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), now located in Dallas, Texas, in their new "Henry M. Morris Center for Christian Leadership," wants to teach graduate students about their particular religious ideology, Young Earth Creationism. To do this, ICR needs the help of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to give it official state Certification to seek accreditation to grant Master's Degrees in Science Education. Although this may sound crazy--since ICR is a religious ministry that promotes Young Earth Creationism and seeks to proselytize others in its Biblical Literalist and Fundamentalist faith--ICR actually believes it is a scientific organization worthy of training students and awarding them graduate degrees in science, and has never hesitated to try to fool public officials and suck them into its crazy beliefs. To expose this con game, Texas Citizens for Science wrote a Press Release that publicized the fact that the ICR's request is going to be considered by the Certification Advisory Council of the THECB today.


December 11, 2007 - Texas Biology Professors Sign Open Letter to Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott that Defends Evolution as a "Central Pillar in Modern Science Education"

Over 100 Texas university biology professors signed an Open Letter to Robert Scott, the Commissioner of Education for Texas. The letter expressed concern for the forced dismissal of former TEA Science Director Chris Comer, but its main purpose was to defend evolutionary biology as a central concept in modern science education. The letter stated that it is "inappropriate" for the Texas Education Agency to expect its Director of Science to "remain neutral" about evolution. The letter concludes by saying that the Texas Education Agency "should work to bolster evolution education in Texas rather than undermining it."

Update: December 19, 2007 - Commissioner Robert Scott wrote a Reply to the Texas biology professors in which he defended his actions. In turn, Dr. David Bolnick wrote a Response to Commissioner Scott in which he further explained and justified the concerns of the Texas biology professors, especially describing scientists' long-standing criticism of the "stengths and weaknesses" Science Process Rule 3A.


November 29, 2007 - Texas Citizens for Science Criticizes the Texas Education Agency and State Board of Education for the Forced Resignation of Science Curriculum Director Chris Comer and Their Plan to Politicize Science Education in Texas

On November 7, 2007, Texas Education Agency Director of Science Curriculum Christine Comer was forced to resign on illegitimate and trumped-up charges. Her forced resignation was revealed publicly today in an Austin American-Statesman news article. Texas Citizens for Science President Steven Schafersman reveals the true reasons for her forced resignation in a report titled TEA Science Director Forced to Resign. The report makes clear that there is an effort underway by some TEA administrators and some members of the SBOE to distort and diminish evolution instruction in Texas public schools by requiring that the "weaknesses" and "controversies" of evolutionary biology be presented. The effort is part of a duplicitous marketing campaign created by Intelligent Design Creationists of the Discovery Institute to damage science education in general, and biological evolution instruction in particular, in our country. Getting rid of the the agency's Director of Science--a supporter of accurate and reliable evolution instruction--was the first step in this mendacious campaign in Texas. This is the latest effort by religiously-inspired public education officials to politicize science education in our state's public schools and deprive students of the benefits of 21st Century Science.

Update: A collection of news articles and editorials about the Chris Comer forced resignation is available.


November 15, 2007 - Texas Citizens for Science Criticizes the Texas State Board of Education Proposal to Change the TEKS Review and Revision Process by Adding a Facilitator Who Will Have Final Responsibility to Write Science Standards

During public testimony on Thursday, November 15, Texas Citizens for Science President Steven Schafesman criticized the SBOE Proposal to revise the process by which Texas science standards are reviewed and revised, the most significant aspect of which is to hire a new Facilitator who will have the final responsibility and authority to write the science TEKS. A professional Facilitator was hired only a few hours before to handle the English Language Arts and Reading TEKS which had been written by teachers, reviewed by experts, but not yet finalized. TCS expressed several serious concerns about the new proposal, which was written in an ambiguous and poorly-thought out manner that raised many questions and red flags. The Facilitator proposal will probably be approved, but if safeguards are not put in place to protect the accuracy and reliability of science content during the process, it is likely that science education will suffer.


November 7, 2007 - Texas Citizens for Science Reviews New Documents Promoting Texas Science Solutions and Standards

Three Reviews of New Texas Science Standards Documents are now available. The reviews were written by Steven Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science. In them, Dr. Schafersman provides links to and reviews the just released Draft Report of the Commission for a College Ready Texas (CCRT), the draft Texas College Readiness Standards (TCRS), and two policy reports of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The documents are all favorably reviewed for the most part, with significant omissions identified and corrected, and anyone interested in the fate of public school science education in Texas will want to read both the original documents and their TCS reviews. The first two reviews served as public written testimony by Steven Schafesman when he addressed the Texas State Board of Education during public testimony on Wednesday, November 14, in Austin.


July 17, 2007 - Science Textbook Selection and Education in Texas: An Issue of Separation of Church and State

A new Powerpoint presentation on Textbook Selection, Science Education, and Church-State Separation in Texas (1.2 MB) is now available. This presentation was given in brief form at The Texas Lyceum in Austin on July 13. The Texas Lyceum is a non-partisan organization that brings experts together once a year to address a specific controversial topic. This year the title of the conference was "Separation of Church and State--Why?" Steven Schafersman, TCS President, described why the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution is responsible for ensuring that Texas public school students continue to have access to accurate and reliable science textbooks and curricula.


July 9, 2007 - Texas Representatives Charlie Howard and Warren Chisum Successfully See Discriminatory, Sectarian, and Anti-Science HB 3678 Signed Into Law

The new, so-called Religious Viewpoint Anti-Discrimination Act is the latest expression of the radical religious-right ideology that dominates Texas politics. Howard and Chisum, both extreme right-wing fundamentalist Protestant Christians who repeatedly attempt to force their sectarian religious views into the Texas public school system using the power of the state and their public offices, claim the Act will allow voluntary student expression of religous viewpoints in the schools. The true purpose of this new stealth law, however, is to enable the proselytization of minority-faith and non-faith students within public schools, and to make public school administrators complicit in this violation of the Constitution. One effect of the new statute will be to allow creationist explanations for natural phenomena, much to the further detriment of science education in Texas.

Update: A collection of news articles and editorials about the Religious Expression Act is available.


February 16, 2007 - Texas Representative Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, Sends Anti-Science and Anti-Semitic Memo to Every Texas House Member

The new Chisum-Bridges Memo Controversy is another manifestation of the radical religious-right ideology that dominates Texas politics. Warren Chisum, Republican Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, sent an anti-Semitic memo written by Ben Bridges--a Georgia State Representative who advocates creationism, geocentricity, and a non-rotating and non-revolving Earth--to every Texas House member. Bridge's memo claims that evolutionary biology is a conspiracy of Jewish "Kabbalists" documented in ancient "Rabbinic writings." The memo has been universally denounced by scientists, science bloggers, and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.


September 18, 2006 - The Texas Attorney General Has Written an Opinion That Refuses to Return the State Board's Pre-1995 Authority Over Specific Textbook Content

The new Opinion is a major victory for Texas citizens and the Texas economy, since students--future knowledge workers--will continue to use high-quality textbooks free of political and religious censorship. This is especially true for science textbooks, which have been the target of censorship by religious-right members of the State Board of Education for decades. Read the Texas Citizens for Science Press Release for details about the just-released decision.

March 24, 2006 - A New Threat to Texas Science Education from State Board of Education Member Terri Leo

Terri Leo seeks an opinion from the Texas Attorney General to overturn the 1995 Texas education legislation that removed State Board authority to determine general textbook content. Texas Citizens for Science has submitted A Brief that supports the original 1996 opinion.

Attorney General Greg Abbott is currently reviewing the Leo opinion request that seeks to reverse a 1996 attorney general opinion that upheld the 1995 legislation that reformed the Texas Education Code. This legislation stripped the State Board of Education of its authority to control the content of textbooks adopted in Texas, a power it had used for decades to censor science, history, social studies, economics, health education, environmental science, and government textbooks. Current censorship by the State Board must be done publicly, with great effort and embarrassment, so the current Texas Education Code is a hindrance to the radical religious right members who want to censor textbooks easily and secretly, as they could in the past. Their failure to censor biology textbooks in 2003 is believed to be the primary motivation in their attempt to overturn the current interpretation of the Code. This latest effort to damage science education is a serious one that must be confronted.

Texas Citizens for Science president Steven Schafersman has written A Brief to the Texas Attorney General that supports the original 1996 Attorney General opinion. In it, he analyzes the language and legislative history of the 1995 bill, and examines the arguments used by Terri Leo in her opinion request. He finds that her arguments are illogical and disingenuous, and requests that the Attorney General reaffirm the 1996 opinion. The link above will take you to the Brief and links to all the relevant documents, bills, and statutes.


February 8, 2006 - A New Threat to Texas Science Education from Texans for Better Science Education Foundation

Texans for Better Science Education Foundation (TBSEF) has a new ploy to promote intelligent design creationism in Texas.

TBSEF is offering Texas science teachers and librarians a free creationist DVD, Where Does the Evidence Lead?, to show in science classes throughout the state. The DVD is actually a version of the well-known creationist DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Life developed by the Discovery Institute, the primary organization promoting intelligent design creationism in the United States. Texas Citizens for Science president Steven Schafersman has written A Review and Critique of Where Does the Evidence Lead? in a letter to Texas science teachers and librarians, in which he carefully demonstrates why it is inappropriate, unscientific, and almost certainly illegal to show this DVD in any Texas public school science classroom.


January 25, 2005 - House Bills 220 and 2534 Threatened to Undo State Law That Inhibits Textbook Censorship

Radical Religious Right Republican State Representatives Charlie Howard and Warren Chisum wanted to return Texas to its Dark Ages of textbook censorship.

A new TCS analysis, House Bills 220 and 2534 Will Return Texas to Its Dark Ages, has just been published. In it, Steven Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science, brieflly describes the history of textbook censorship in Texas by its State Board of Education and explains why House Bills 220 and 2534 would have made it easier for current State Board members to censor textbooks by forcing publishers to change and insert textbook content that agrees with their extremist political, ideological, and religious beliefs, as well as directly promote bigotry in public schools.

Note added (April 26, 2005): Both of these bills died in committee. It will be difficult to pass these again for two years, until the next session of the Texas Legislature. TCS will monitor any special session for school finance to be sure that bills such as these do not become law. In addition, vouchers, virtual charter schools, and public school privatization all failed. With the exception of school finance (a big exception), this session has been a victory for public school education, students, and Texas citizens. We must always be vigilant, however, against the efforts of the 4Rs (Radical Republican Religious Right) to destroy public education in Texas.

To oppose anti-science legislation by writing to your state legislator, you can go to the Texas House of Representatives and to the Texas Senate.


November 10, 2004 - Texas Adopted Censored, Inadequate, and Dangerous Health Education Textbooks in 2004

The new health textbooks will increase the rates of teenage pregnancy and STD infection in Texas because they omit scientifically-reliable information about human sexuality.

On November 5, 2004, the Texas State Board of Education finally approved the censored health education textbooks for use in Texas public schools for the next six years. As reported earlier, these books are inadequate and dangerous, because they omit information about contraception and prophylaxis to help prevent unwanted teenage pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases. Instead the health texts adopt an abstinence-only method of sex education, a method revealed in numerous scientific studies to be ineffectual, counter-productive, and thus dangerous. Please read the November 5, 2004, TCS Press Release on this topic (this press release is also available as a Word document).

The original Written Testimony of Texas Citizens for Science is available online and as a PDF file and Word document. This testimony was submitted to the State Board of Education for the textbook hearing in Austin on Wednesday, July 14, and is the most complete description of the issues and problems with the health textbooks. The document reviews and analyzes the treatment of sex education in five different health education textbooks. In brief, the five 2005 health textbooks submitted for adoption this year treat teenage sexuality even worse than the 1998 book described in the Health Textbooks section: all promote abstinence-only sex education and avoid mentioning any other methods of prophylaxis for prevention of STDs and contraception for prevention of pregnancy. Four are "Texas Editions," and you know what that means: keeping the students ignorant. Over 60% of Texas students engage in sexual activity before graduating from high school, so the textbooks, the state health education curriculum, and the state's public education officials are all complicit in the extremely high teenage pregnancy and STD rates in Texas. Please go to the Health Textbooks section for further information.


Texas Citizens for Science (TCS) was formed in January, 2003, to promote the accuracy, reliability, and integrity of science and science instruction in Texas public education, government, and institutions. TCS is the direct successor to the Texas Council for Science Education that was active during 1980-1994 in support of the same goals.

During its first year (2003), TCS devoted its attention to reviewing biology textbooks that were adopted by the Texas Education Agency in 2003 for Texas high schools, and defending their scientific accuracy in public hearings before the Texas State Board of Education. TCS subsequently reviewed flawed and censored health science textbooks (2004), flawed and censored English curriculum standards (2007), flawed and censored science curriculum standards (2008-2009), flawed and censored social studies curriculum standards (2009-2010), and supplemental digital science instructional materials (2011). TCS also worked to deny the Institute for Creation Research the right to award Master Degrees in Science Education in Texas (2007-2008) and documented many other radical religious right political intrusions into Texas public education (2005-2011), including a flawed and biased Bible studies curriculum, state-funded private religious school vouchers, state-funded religious charter schools, state-funded religious virtual charter home-school curriculum, and the purge of honest, non-sectarian science staff members at the Texas Education Agency.


Please Donate to Texas Citizens for Science

Texas Citizens for Science requests donations from its members and supporters to enable us to continue our work of promoting the use of accurate and reliable science in Texas public education and state government, and opposing radical right-wing extremists who wish to damage science textbooks and science curriculum standards in Texas. We need to continue speaking to members of the Texas State Board of Education, the Texas Legislature, and other state government agencies to preserve scientific integrity in Texas. We have organized, determined, and aggressive opponents in Texas who want to damage and corrupt science education in our state, so we need your help. Please donate to Texas Citizens for Science by mailing a check to TCS or by clicking on the PayPal button below.


Texas Citizens for Science Announcement Email List

Texas Citizens for Science maintains an email list on Yahoo Groups named TexNews to keep you informed about science education issues in Texas. This is not a discussion list, but a one-way announcement and information list. You will not receive messages from other list members, nor can you send messages to the list. This is a relatively low volume list.

There are two ways you can subscribe to TexNews: You can send an email message to texnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. You will then receive a message to confirm your subscription. This second step is necessary to prevent others from signing you up to lists without your knowledge. Or, you can visit the webpage at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/texnews/ and click the button "Join This Group!" Either way will work, but if you choose the latter, you will have to obtain a Yahoo account and Yahoo ID.


Texas Citizens for Science
Steven Schafersman, TCS President and Web Administrator
Last updated: 2012 May 16