02 February 2009

The three Rs, Texas Board of Education style

Houston Chronicle logoThe Houston Chronicle reports that some members of the Texas legislature are getting peeved enough at the antics of the Texas State Board of Education to start working on some laws to give that board greater oversight.

(The Texas State Board of Education) would be abolished and its duties transferred to the Texas Education Agency. He has filed a bill to accomplish much of that by stripping the board of its authority over textbooks, curriculum and graduation requirements. It would be left with only its narrow constitutional duties, including managing the Permanent School Fund. ...

(A) separate bill... would put the board under the periodic sunset review of the Legislature. That step would force more oversight of board members, several of whom, he believes, are more fixated on the three Rs of religion, religion and religion than on improving public school classrooms.

A separate article in the Chronicle discusses how evolutionary theory is used to generate economic growth.

Supporters say they want children to understand there are viable alternatives to evolution.

But Andy Ellington, a University of Texas evolutionary biologist, called that argument “almost amusing.”

“You have these folks who are trying to suggest that we shouldn’t teach evolution as something our kids need to know,” he said. “But at the same time, there are these new technologies out there shaping our lives every day.”

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