Texas Adopts New Science Standards

By a 14-0 vote, the Texas State Board of Education agreed on a public school science curriculum that would allow students to learn science without requiring them to challenge the theory of evolution.

The most recent anti-evolution controversy in the state arose when language that stated students are required to “evaluate all sides” of science was placed in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills science standards earlier this year. Critics argued that this was code for sneaking creationism into Texas public school science classes.

Keven Ellis, a member of the board, proposed eliminating the requirement to “evaluate” biology standards by allowing students to voluntarily “compare and contrast scientific explanations.” With Ellis’ bipartisan compromise, the controversial requirement has been dropped, and the new standard will go into effect starting in the 2018-19 school year.

In an April 21 statement, the National Center for Science Education called this solution “a victory for the integrity of science education in Texas.” Kathy Miller, the president of the Texas Freedom Network, an organization that advocates for religious freedom and public education, echoed this sentiment.