State education leaders forged a compromise Friday on the teaching of evolution in Texas, adopting a new science curriculum that no longer requires educators to teach the weaknesses of all scientific theories.
The State Board of Education voted 13-2 to put in place a plan that would instead require teachers to encourage students to scrutinize “all sides” of scientific theories, a move criticized by evolution proponents.
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which will be in place for the next decade, governs what teachers are required to cover in the classroom, the topics students are tested on and the material published in textbooks.
Pro-evolutionists, who wanted the State Board of Education to drop the 20-year-old requirement that both “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories be taught, said the new plan uses confusing language that allows creationist arguments to slip into Texas classrooms.
“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,” said Kathy Miller, president of the watchdog group Texas Freedom Network.
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