Revising The Revisionaries: The Texas Board of Ed Loses Power over Textbooks


Former Texas Board of Education chair Don McLeroy talks to a Fox News reporter

As recently as last year, the Texas State Board of Education had the power to rewrite history. The Revisionaries (airing Jan. 28 on Independent Lens) captures the scope of the board’s reign.

In the documentary’s intro, ABC News reporter Dan Harris interviews former board chair Don McLeroy in 2010. “You have been quoted as saying that the amount of power you have at times boggles your mind.” McLeroy responds, “Well, I did say that. I wished I hadn’t have said that, but I did say that because it is pretty influential.”

The “pretty influential” board shoehorned ideas into national textbooks that changed the way we teach science and social studies, as The Revisionaries shows. California and Texas are the two states with the most textbook-purchasing muscle because of the size of their student enrollments — 6.2 million and 5 million, respectively. In 2009, the Texas board required that textbooks ask students to consider whether gaps in the fossil record and the complexity of the human cell can be explained by evolution. Next was the social studies year, when the board defined America not as a democracy but a “constitutional republic” and replaced capitalism with “free-enterprise system.”

Much has changed since then. In 2011, the Texas Legislature shifted authority to order textbooks from the state to individual school districts with Senate Bill 6. The law deprived the board of its final say-so. Now, school districts have control over how they spend their almost $800 million on learning materials.

“It’s pretty clear that it reduces our authority in the sense that we’re not the only game in town,” board member Michael Soto, D-San Antonio told the Austin American-Statesman.

REVISIONARIE_IL1400_Still_03_ClassroomFilmmaker Scott Thurman describes it this way: Before, “the textbook publishers had to meet 100 percent of the TEKS [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards]. In The Revisionaries, I follow the process of making those standards. Now, they only have to meet 50 percent of the standards…Textbook publishers have a little more wiggle room.”

He speculates that SB6 was passed because of the controversy the board raised in 2009 and 2010. “According to moderate members of the board, the far right didn’t like this at all. They wanted complete control. They wanted to lock in those standards and not allow textbook publishers to work around it.”

In the meantime, Thurman has kept in touch with the three main subjects in his film: Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network, Southern Methodist University anthropology professor Ron Wetherington, and former board member Don McLeroy. The filmmaker and three film subjects will host a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” during The Revisionaries broadcast 8 p.m. CST Monday January 28.

Thurman chats with McLeroy on the phone “about once a week,” he said. “Don is a great, jovial man whom I respect in a way different from the people I’m politically aligned with, like Kathy. Don is no longer on the state board of education, but he follows state education policy very closely. He remains a dentist.”


Former Texas Board of Education chair Don McLeroy

Thurman has also stayed on top of education policy. His latest project follows the Texas Legislature and the lack of funding for public schools, in part because of tax incentives given to charter schools, he said.

As for the board of education, Thurman has been pleased with the balanced political makeup of the newly elected members. When The Revisionaries was filmed, the board was made up of seven far-right Christian conservatives, five Democrats, and three moderates. When “the seven far right could get one of these three moderates, they were able to pass a lot that way,” Thurman said. The November 2012 elections have instated a new balance: five far-right Republicans, five moderates, and five Democrats.

“When there’s an outrageous attempt in science to water down evolution and place doubt in scientific credibility, it raised attention enough for people to get out and vote. Now we’re looking at a vote that’s more split. It’s all in the voters’ hands.

“People need to understand how important these lower bodies of government are. A lot of people don’t take the time to vote on these elections, but they need to. They’re important. I would just like to see the board less politicized and [consist of] people with experience in education that have knowledge in a particular area and can listen to the experts rather than stand up to the experts. I think that’s a path to a better education for our kids.”

Since the Texas controversy, arguments over evolution have bubbled up in other states. Activists are passionately battling the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows teachers to bring in their own materials to discuss hot-button topics such as evolution and climate change. Nineteen-year-old Zack Kopplin has drafted a letter arguing against the bill with the signatures of 78 Nobel Laureates.

The Texas Board of Education has lost much of its power, but many of the marks the board made on the nation’s textbooks are permanent. With so much muddied language, the textbooks lack a clear sense of narrative, Gail Collins wrote in the New York Review of Books. “Texas has never managed to get evolution out of American science textbooks,” she wrote. “It’s been far more successful in helping to make evolution—and history, and everything else—seem boring.”

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  • PeedroPaula

    This is wonderful news. I wish I had cable and could watch the documentary, but I’m thrilled it was made.

  • Matt

    How is defining America as a “constitutional republic” instead of a “democracy” tantamount to “rewriting history”? Isn’t it more accurate?

    • Jessica Neubauer

      Not exactly. It could be construed as a self fulfilling prophecy. States always want more power to come from within and less from the federal government. This would be fine, but for three facts;
      A. They will often use xenophobia, fear, racism and ignorance to gain power.
      B. They still want the fed subsidies but want to basically take the money and ignore the federal laws.
      C. They will argue against upholding any law they don’t like (i.e. gun safety) by playing the “tyranny” card.
      The hypocrisy of a state like Texas is that while they are all good with accepting federal money (oil subsidies, armed force bases, farm subsidies, propane subsidies and a LOT of welfare), and influencing national elections, when it’s their turn to follow the rules they are the first to scream about their “constitutional rights”. You can’t vote then ignore the laws when your side loses. We ARE a democracy.

      • Richard Moore

        You might want to check Ben Franklin’s answer to the question: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

    • Pilar Quezzaire

      The U.S. is a constitutional republic — you and the board in that case were right. Problem is that the use of the term is not explained well — it’s largely an argument for states’ rights that should have been up for interpretation more than the Texas-driven textbooks portray it as.

      • me987654

        The US is in general terms a democracy as well. I would agree that in specific terms “consitutional republic” is definitely accurate

        • Guy Paul Swenson

          It sounds like folks might be afraid that defining the United States as a Constitutional Republic could open the door for an argument against equal representation, but when we’re talking about education, these are great conversations to have. What with the various hybrids of republics and democracies, I think that would be much more useful than seeking rote memorization of either identifying term

          I wonder, in our pledge, when we say, “…and to the Republic for which it stands” that we aren’t identifying our country? (Forgive me, please if I misunderstood … I don’t have an agenda, I really am seeking an explanation.)

  • Meridy Migchelbrink

    Is PBS only available on cable where you live, PeedroPaula?

  • Fredric L. Rice

    Insane fucking cult savages! Third world loons! Christians and Islamics only survive if there’s a cult-driven, stupid, uneducated, lied-to populace. No wonder they commit such crimes against us, it’s the only way these filthy death cults can survive.

    • Joshua Wilhour

      Hate much ?

      • shaftjohnson

        Imma say he do hate a little

  • DoubleDogDiogenes

    Texas Republicans, the religious right and Republicans in general have to learn that indulging in hubris like this always has a cost. This is one example. Educators across the country warned them not to push the pseudo-science and David Barton’s false revisionist history on a nation that knows better. It fell on deaf ears. Every attempt these narrow partisan ideologues make to force their silly ideas on the rest of us will be resisted just as much. They’ll NEVER get a free pass again. Texas has “0” credibility and will not be trusted with our children’s futures again!

  • David Kempton

    This is good news. Not great, I have a fun scenario: Your 5th grader has been going to a school in a district where science is valued and critical thinking is encouraged. Then you get a raise and have to move, and the new district is a Christian Paradise, anti-science, guarded by Dominionist control freaks.

    Who ya gonna trust? And what do you do about it? Let the kid get Fs and teach him at home, instruct him to challenge “authority”?

  • Ruth Rousseau

    So very sad. Science, instead of using the scientific method and creative thinking, without being open to possibility and exploration, will now be reduced to a religious faith in the dogmatic theory (not Law) of evolution. Education, instead of teaching students to ask questions, be filled with wonder, and drawing one’s own conclusions about truth, will now be limited to narrow-minded, boring, political correctness. The Christian heritage of our nation, being the Puritans, and the concepts behind our laws of freedom and responsibility, being the Bible, can’t afford to be forgotten and cast out in these troubled times, but they are. Whatever happened to Texas’s plans to secede?

    • Stefan

      And the advances of science and logic that have carried humanity out of the dark ages can not, and thankfully will not, be ignored by those living in superstitious denial of advancement.

      There is scientific evidence backing up evolution. There is hearsay backing up the bible. I don’t want my children to ever be taught hearsay in the classroom.

      • Ruth Rousseau

        Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For Knowledge is limited to what we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” “The sign of true intelligence is imagination, not knowledge.” It is “superstition” to believe that civilizations prior to our own had no “technology” or cultural relevance. There is a scientific Law of Thermodynamics (II) that things are constantly declining, not advancing. And the narrow, unimaginative, unkind thinking that refutes well-rounded, true education is the kind of thinking that launched the Dark Ages. Let’s hope for fearless open minds and biblical faith like Galileo and Newton to get us back on track, not further off.

        • Need2 Read

          Bravo on the use of double-speak and outright misrepresentation of facts! As an educator, I do my best, everyday to undo the damage done by folks like you.

          • Guest

            Last time I checked, the courses most threatened by budget cuts were in
            the Arts. Also, the problem is that parents are so not involved in their
            children’s real education that they send them off to government schools
            oblivious to the fact that they are not sending them to “neutral”
            territory. It’s obvious when you read the last cruel feedback to my comments,
            rather than the courteous discussion of supposedly educated folks, that
            government schools are the most narrowminded places to be in the Union.

          • Ruth Rousseau

            I find it hard to stomach that some citizens will create an uproar over a display of the Ten Commandments in public, moral laws fairly universally agreed upon (by Muslims, Buddhists, and so forth). How exactly is this helpful to our culture? And, was there no better use of time and the court system?

          • James Huber

            Things PROHIBITED in your “Universal Laws:” Working on Saturday, worshipping any god beside the God of the Jews, wanting something your neighbour owns, making statues, sex out of wedlock.

            Things NOT PROHIBITED: Rape, sex with children, slavery, beating your wife.

        • Timothy Schmidt

          The Second Law of Thermodynamics is applicable only in a closed system. The Earth is NOT a closed system, constantly receiving energy, heat, light, and radiation from the sun. Those who controlled the “religious faith” at the time placed Galileo under house house arrest for his “rearless open mind.” Dealing with the religious establishment there is ALWAY something to fear.

        • nullifidian

          The second law of thermodynamics has nothing to do with “things… constantly declining”, but rather states that in a closed system, the amount of energy unavailable for work will increase. “Declining” is a term with no scientific content, and if the creationist reading of the second law of thermodynamics were true, it would be impossible for a tree to develop from a seed or a fetus to develop from a zygote.

        • Ryan

          Ruth, you are blatantly spewing obvious misinformation – typical behavior of the sleazy, dishonest promoters of religion.

      • Guest

        Last time I checked, the courses most threatened by budget cuts were in the Arts. Also, the problem is that parents are so not involved in their children’s real education that they send them off to government schools oblivious to the fact that they are not sending them to “neutral” territory. It’s obvious when you read the cruel feedback to my comments, rather than the courteous discussion of supposedly educated folks, that government schools are the most narrowminded places to be in the Union.

        • Ruth Rousseau

          Not sure why these are getting so mixed up. I rarely post comments. Oh well.

      • Shauna

        You need to read up on William Tyndale and how his translation of the Bible into English (and subsequently being killed for it) changed the world – made it so that more people were educated and learned how to think critically, and advanced the creation of a middle class over just the common upper and lower classes that existed for ages. Religion is not what is bad, it is always the misuse of religion that is bad. The misuse of government is also bad, as would be the misuse of science, etc. Use some critical thinking on this issue and more digging and you will discover that many of the names that are being thrown out in venomous context are really correct.

    • Nathan Merrill

      I seem to recall Texas seceding and being beaten down.

      Anyway, as far as the rest goes:

      1) You don’t understand science on even the most basic of levels. A “law” is merely a relationship between multiple things, like gas laws, the law of relativity, ect. Indeed, there are numerous “laws” within biology and evolution. A “law” is NOT a higher level of certainty than a theory; indeed, there are many things which are referred to as laws (such as Newton’s Laws of Motion) which are known to be outright wrong, and yet we still describe them as laws.

      If you don’t understand this, then you understand nothing about science.

      2) There is nothing above theory in science. Theory is the highest level of certainty. And evolution is one of the most certain theories in science – we have directly observed evolution. Evolution is both a fact – an observation – and a theory – how evolution occurs.

      Note that being an observation is not the same as being certain; “facts” are merely observations, and are as prone to error as anything else.

      Evolution is known to be correct, just as the Earth is known to be roughly spherical in shape. The Earth is not a perfect sphere, but people describe the Earth as spherical because it is pretty close to a sphere. Evolution is much the same way – the modern synthesis does not describe everything, but it is quite close.

      When people went from thinking the world was flat to thinking it was a sphere, and then later from a sphere to a slightly squashed sphere, the people who thought the world was a sphere were wrong… but they were vastly LESS wrong than those who came before it. The Earth is not a cube; it is just not a perfect sphere. Every time we revise sceintific theories, we get closer and closer to the truth, but the previous, discarded theory is less and less wrong over time as well. Relativity is not perfect, but it is very close to right; any revision to physics is going to be only a very minor improvement on relativity, and relativity itself is only a corner case – for most everyday uses on the planet Earth, you can use Newton’s Laws and be so close to right that your margin of error in calculation is smaller than your margin of error in measurement.

      3) If you want to teach science properly, then you need to explain what current knowledge is and how we got there. I am totally okay with them going into how we falsified creationism and religious beliefs about how the Earth came to be, because we did – it was science. We know what we know for reasons, and explaining how we know it is very good and important, and all proper scientific education should do this!

      We should explain why we know that creationism is wrong in the science classroom, and how popular ideas get discredited by actual scientific observation.

      Of course, the crazy people will go insane over such, even though it is absolutely true.

  • Virginia Haines

    “Next was the social studies year, when the board defined America not as a democracy but a “constitutional republic””

    WOW, upset because they correctly pointed out that we are a constitutional representative republic not a democracy. In a democracy every voting citizen would vote on each and every bill proposed. It’s also called mob rule as minorities are frequently discriminated against by law. A republic however has the citizenry vote on representatives who will then vote on bills based upon constituent desires and their own reasoning skills to weight which way to vote. This is also called rule of law.

    • Nathan Merrill

      This is simply false and is a misunderstanding of what the word democracy means, which is precisely why they needed to keep the word “democracy” in there – people like you who don’t understand what the word means.

      You are confusing “democracy” with “direct democracy”, which IS a form of government.

      The United States IS a Constitutional Republic. It is ALSO a democracy. This is because democracy is not a form of government, but a means of governmental selection (as opposed to a meritocracy, oligarchy, inheritance by blood, ect.).

      The United States is a democratic country because we elect our leadership by popular vote.

      The United States is a republic because we have a smaller group of people who pass our laws – they are elected to their positions in our case, but non-democratic republics can certainly exist.

      We are constitutional because we have a constitution which is above our other laws.

      Ergo, we are a democratic constitutional republic.

  • bucktoui

    I wonder what will happen to Washington State that voter just approved funding rich people (Charter) School.

  • Hoosier Lad

    Yo! And these are the former “BOOK BURNERS” who at last “publishing” had Ricky Bobby Perry and ‘Rufuss’ Hermann Cane running for President of these United States, but left-off the fact the President Barack Obama was elected in November 2008, sworn in 2009! Probably won’t get around the the next revised edition mentioning President Obama was “RE-ELECTED” over a Repuglicon candidate who wasn’t really running though Karl Marxx Rove and CPACKS were spending BILLION$ they claimed President Obama took from them (“Not The Congress!”) with higher “Death Taxes!”

    South Carolina used to have a similar publisher who kept the facts about slavery out of the 1950s and 1960s editions! Still mushing with the facts after all these years!

  • Ruth Rousseau

    I can’t think of anything so NOT educational as sitting in a classroom all day. Or using textbooks.

    • Thomas Lawson

      “The most needful piece of learning for the uses of Life is to unlearn what is untrue.” – ANTISTHENES

  • larry capra aka zenabowli

    Employers can’t discriminate because of a persons religious beliefs. But, they certainly can overlook a person because of a lack of educational qualifications. Likewise… high-school grads may not meet the educational requirements, needed to attend universities outside of the state of Texas. Then, think about how many qualified people will not move their families to Texas because of an inadequate educational system.

  • Phil Lunney

    Books are not dead but Textbooks are. Over the next few years we will see some type of Pad (iPad, Nexus 7, etc) take over in many districts and states. With digital content, one system can leave out or add content much better and more cost effectively than the printed page. This will displace the influence of these folks faster than the electorate.

    • G Clark

      Already done. In Maryland we don’t use the Texas books. We’ve been testing our own social studies and science books developed by pearson. They follow the national standards and not Texas standards, thank goodness.

  • LeeAnn Hogue

    Thank Goodness! I am tired of our representatives taking us backward in time. The past is gone, the current is now and tomorrow is the future. I prefer to progress forward in time. Thank you very much!

  • BYL

    I have 11 Children me and my wife raised. Eight of our own and 3 adapted. The far left call us Breeders. We call it stuffing the ballots. LOL. We home schooled all of our children, which means they are what you would call far right. I call them critical thinkers. So far we have raised 1 lawyer, 1 school teacher, 3 chemical engineers, and one Christian Pastor. Can any of you lefties explain how you can justify evolution in light of the Law of Entropy? In physics and thermodynamics it is not a theory but a scientifically proven law of physics. Casting doubt on the Theory of evolution is not closed minded as some of you would contend but as a skeptic and critical thinker you can’t just pretend the many holes in this theory do not exist! Why does logical thinking scare you? I am a man of faith. Faith does not exclude scientific thought but closed minded left leaning thinking does. Left leaning dogma is the most closed minded, non-tolerant, bigoted mind set i have ever come across. it come across clearly in your foaming-at-the-mouth raging rants. Chill out! Jesus loves you even if you don’t believe in him

    • Russell Vaughan

      For the past five hundred years just about every scientific discovery made points to serious errors in the Bible. The world is not flat, the sun does not revolve around the earth, the earth is 4.54 Billion years old, There are at least a billion stars in our galaxy, there are about a billion galaxies. We might be only one of many universes Simple germs are proof of evolution. Antibiotics have to be continually altered because germs adapt and become immune to their effects. God has had numerous opportunities to show he exists with all the natural disasters over just the past few years. Not one intervention, totally AWOL. Man caused disasters, Hitler, Vietnam, Civil War, wars (Crusades) he was responsible for, again totally AWOL. In my many years and experiences I have determined you are emotionally weak and very gullible. I wouldn’t call people like you Breeders, I would call you Crackpots.

  • Adrian Janssens

    I am in my sixties and have finally realized that I have been lied to by people who tell me that the world is only 6,000 years old etc. Better late than never I guess, just slow on the uptake, but feel better off not believing in a fantasy.

    • TD

      NEVER to late my friend…NEVER to late!

  • OklahomaWX

    We used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe until observation reason, and questioning (called science) told us otherwise. For believers this updated information shouldn’t mean we’ve disproved God’s existence but rather that we can now see the true vastness of his creation. Similarly evolution shouldn’t threaten religion. If the facts show the Earth isn’t 6000 years old and that Man evolved from lower forms of life believers should look at pond scum and think “it’s really cool God could create something capable of converting itself from slime to people” not deny the facts before them.

    Is evolution 100% proven and without gaps? Of course not. Is it *possible* God deliberately designed everything in his factory? I concede it’s a possibility. That said, just because you can’t disprove a theory doesn’t mean the theory is right. We base our understanding of things on a continuous series of facts which all push us in one direction.

    It appears some people in Texas are willing to remain in the dark ages because they’re unwilling to reconsider the teachings drilled into their heads since they were children. We’ve fought several major wars against people with rigid, oppressive, ideologies and yet here we have rigid thinkers right at home clinging to outdated beliefs and hoping it will all just go away.

    • Azix

      years from now we might be saying we used to believe in evolution. In the face of actual biology, the wider theory is that ridiculous.

    • Ryan

      Years from now we might be saying we used to believe in a magical wizard in the sky, called “god”.. and laugh at our ignorance.

    • Nathan Merrill

      The only kinds of God which can exist are FSM type deities – i.e. omnipotent ones which hide all evidence of their existence – and deist deities, which do not interact with the universe at all.

      But the unifying factor is that they are impossible to falsify. It is like if someone claims they have an invisible, inaudible, intangible, heatless dragon in their garage – which is more likely, that they have a dragon in their garage, or that their garage is empty?

      God is that invisible, inaudible, ect. dragon.

      The reality is that, yes, in fact, evolution has been 100% proven to occur. Evolution is a fact – we have observed it, both in the present and in the past.

      The theory of evolution is HOW evolution occurred. Do we understand all the mechanics underlying how evolution occurs? No.

      But that’s like saying that the people who claimed that the world was a sphere were wrong – which they were, I’ll note – because the world is actually slightly flattened around the equator. Yeah, sure, they weren’t strictly, perfectly accurate – the world isn’t quite spherical – but they were vastly closer to correct than the people who believed the Earth was flat.

      We understand evolution very well. Any changes are not “oh, evolution didn’t occur” but “oh, there was an additional factor which has to be taken into consideration”, because, quite simply put, it is literally impossible to overturn evolution – literally all the evidence points towards it.

  • Jeff Bohning

    Your focus is on science but surely you can see efforts to instill a set ideology in social studies…

    What critical evidence do you feel engenders this level of skepticism in evolution?

  • Jeff Bohning

    There is nothing about evolution that claims only one species will exist, if that were true we would be the only things in existence.

    Survival of the fittest doesn’t directly translate into a singular fittest but a margin available. Trees do this in areas or we would not see vast forests with only one species dominant.

    Looking back on your claims about the standards being put into place… I simply can’t agree. I know there were several writers involved in drafting the standards. The drafts were much more likely to be valid but once an ideologically skewed body begins to manipulate those drafts they can add anything they wish to them.

    You have yet to produce one point of argument with any backing. What critical evidence is this that you feel brings evolution so drastically into question?

    • Azix

      I fail to see where you got the idea that I said only one species will exist.

      The evidences that puts evolution into question are numerous and the post you are replying to mentioned a couple. Research shows that mutations and natural selection have very limited capability. They are simply inadequate when it comes to generating the changes that must have happened. There is the issue with conflicting trees of life, there is the issue with finding genetically identical information in seemingly unrelated organisms (how does an aimless, natural process arrive at the same complex code multiple times independently? (convergent evolution, deep homology). The positive evidence for design (not just an appearance of it) is in the genetic information, design concepts in living systems etc.

      There are wild attempts at fixing some of these. Its easy to claim whatever you want without evidence when dealing with historical science, rather than following the evidence available today.

      The real question is why people think the theory of evolution is so much more unassailable than real scientific theories in other fields. Fields that allow open questioning of long held theories (well, as long as there isn’t too much emotion, politics or religious reason to oppose it as there is with evolution)

      • Random Marvel Fangirl

        The “issue with finding genetically identical information in seemingly unrelated organisms” makes total sense, if they had a _shared_ common ancestor. Not sure how you are trying to make that out to be a flaw… It is actually very strong support FOR evolution. Also, mutations, isolation, and natural selection that can result in small changes in short periods of time, can result in massive changes over incredibly long periods of tens or hundreds of millions of years.

        The theory of evolution is one of science’s most substantiated theories, it has more supportive evidence than just about any other theory. Real scientists don’t let their personal emotions, politics, or religion influence their work. Ken Miller and Francis Collins are both devout christians, who firmly support evolution. It’s not really even up for debate anymore, other than religious fundamentalists and their equally uneducated political leaders. After 150+ years, the molehill of evidence has become Mt Everest, with multiple fields of science converging on the same conclusion: the diversity of life we see, is the result of evolution from earlier common ancestry. The “tree” is more like a tumbleweed, and there’s no “goal” at the end of any branch of it.

  • Sean Michael Parsons

    Denial isn’t a river in Egypt.

    There is zero science in Creation Science. That is a matter of public record.

  • meerkat13

    America is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. That’s why we have the representative legislatures and electoral system we do. And evolution, although the soundest science we have so far, is still a theory so I don’t see a problem with asking students whether they believe it explains everything. As for capitalism vs. free enterprise, Webster’s defines the former as “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.” and the latter as “freedom of private business to organize and operate for profit in a competitive system without interference by government beyond regulation necessary to protect public interest and keep the national economy in balance.” I’d have to see a lot more than what is in this article to get outraged about right-wing crazies. By the way, I consider myself far left on most political issues.

    • Nathan Merrill

      The idea that America is not a democracy is false. The United States is a democratic republic. This is why the textbooks were deeply misleading; the US IS a democracy. Democracy is not a FORM of government, it is a description of HOW a government is formed. This is precisely why people need to be educated – you get people like yourself saying stuff like this which is just outright wrong.

      As far as “evolution is still a theory”, that’s nonsense – literally. There’s nothing ABOVE scientific theories – a scientific theory is literally the highest degree of certainty that there is. Evolution is both a fact (evolution 100% occurred and continues to occur – we have observed it) and a theory (i.e. the modern synthesis theory of evolution is about how and why evolution occurs).

      Here’s how much evidence there is against evolution: zero. None. Nada. Not one iota.

      So… yeah.

  • Edwin Roman

    Holy rollers have invested heavily in Texas textbooks because of
    the national implications: school districts in Texas have to buy books
    from a state-approved list, and Texas is such an enormous market that
    textbook publishers will generally do whatever they can to get on that
    list. Textbooks written and edited to meet Texas standards end up being
    used all over the country.

  • Ryan

    Uhh.. of course Christianity is anti-science. Adam/eve/talking snake, 6000 year old earth, 6 day creation, the arch, Moses parting the seas, Jesus walking on water, a magic man in the sky who grants wishes, etc… It would be absolutely insane to believe this garbage.

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  • TD

    The theory of evolution is a sound scientific principal. It’s not debatable. To imply that there was “some other” way we got here is idiotic at best. How do they explain the Neanderthals, Denivoians, and the myriad of other humanoid species over the past million years? We share DNA with both Neanderthals and Denivoians…that unto itself rules out any “religious” nonsense about a creator or being created in “his” image.

  • TD

    The interesting thing is once these kids get to college (if they make the cut), they will have to relearn what everyone else learned from the 5th grade on. Sad really sad.

    • Random Marvel Fangirl

      College for some kids is a re-education process, rather than the continuing of their education that it’s intended to be. “Higher Education” shouldn’t be “Replacing Bad Education” institutions… The bad education shouldn’t exist in the first place!

  • SkyBluePM

    I just cannot understand why there isn’t simply a national standard and have done with it! I’m from the UK and sure there are problems with the curriculum in several areas, at no point is there any attempt to push non provable jibberish like creationism, or adjusting history to suit any political party!

    The very idea that over in the US you would even tolerate such stuff is simply baffling to me! I mean you have politicians over there who openly say they believe the universe was created in 6 days! A politician would *_NEVER*_ say that in the UK, because if they did, they wouldn’t be a politician! It simply isn’t an argument over here!

    It is deeply troubling that this is even a debate in a country that has it’s finger on the nuclear button! To think that at one time (and very possibly in the future) you could have a president or VIce President as idiotic as say Sarah Palin who could make the decision to go to war based on a voice in their head is horrific!

    I hate to say it, but grow up America! You need to stop this childish obsession with wanting your fuzzy feelings of a god to cloud your judgements!

    Education is *TOO IMPORTANT* to be allowed to be bastardised by ignorance and intolerance of the religious and political extremists!

    Your kids will not forgive you when they are locked out of jobs for the sake of your own hubris!

  • Rod Prather

    Teaching Fascism is not a good excuse .

  • Mymyheyhey

    “There are issues”? Science has and continues to explore “issues” with evolution. Problem for you is we haven’t found any evidence that doesn’t support it.

  • Random Marvel Fangirl

    I would love to know what christianity has contributed to the world of science… (Not individuals who happened to be christians themselves, but what the actual religion has provided to science. What discoveries and advances have come directly from scripture?)

    It seems it has been more of a hindrance to science, and any discoveries made by a christian scientist were made in spite of their religion, not because of it. Some of them paid dearly for their work, if it conflicted with the doctrine.