Friday, October 24, 2014

Texans Call on School Board to Remove Climate Denial from Textbooks

In this Sept. 17, 2013 file photo, pro-science supporters rally prior to a State Board of Education public hearing on proposed new science textbooks, in Austin, Texas.  (Credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay) Click to enlarge.
Thousands of Texans are calling on the state legislature to fix errors in proposed science textbooks, many of which skew facts about climate change.

Petitions with more than 24,000 signatures from Texas residents were delivered to the Texas Board of Education and textbook publishing executives in Austin this week.  The petitions call for changes in the state’s proposed new science textbooks, which are currently under review by the state’s Board of Education. Representatives from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), Climate Parents, and the Texas Freedom Network organized and delivered the petitions to the board, which will be voting in November on what textbooks to approve.  As NCSE notes in a release, however, publishers can make edits to the textbooks any time before the vote occurs — changes the groups hope will occur as a result of the petitions.

“Teachers and school boards want textbooks that handle climate change accurately, and they are watching to see which publishers fix these errors,” Josh Rosenau, Programs and Policy Director at NCSE said in a release.  “These petitions show that parents, teachers, students, and voters across Texas will make sure the board doesn’t let these errors slip into their classrooms.”

The petitions stemmed from a report published last month by NCSE which found multiple misleading statements relating to climate change in Texas’s proposed new textbooks.  The report highlighted a section in a proposed sixth-grade geography textbook that states that scientists “do not agree” on the cause of climate change.
The fight over Texas textbooks’ treatment of climate change has heated up this year, largely because Texas’ new textbooks will likely be emulated by other states:  Texas has the largest public school system in the country and also maintains strict standards for textbooks, so publishers tend to base their new textbooks around what Texas wants.  The fight is also part of a larger battle over the Next Generation Science Standards, national guidelines for public schools around the country to consider when teaching science. Texas, along with some other largely-conservative states, isn’t likely to adopt the standards.

Read More in Texans Call on School Board to Remove Climate Denial from Textbooks

No comments:

Post a Comment