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Choosing words: The controversy over Texas textbooks

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire last week, Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked, by a young boy who had been prompted by his mother, how old the earth is. He said he didn’t know, and went on to discuss evolution.

Rick Perry is not the only Republican candidate expressing doubts about evolution. Others challenging the theory include Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. But for the record, it turns out that Texas teachers are not required to teach creationism. In fact, as recently as last month, the Texas State Board rejected an effort to add intelligent design materials to the curriculum as an alternative to evolution.

The state school board has had its share of controversy. Last year we caught up with school board members as they were considering changes to the social studies textbooks. Critics at the time complained the board was distorting some events in American history. The controversy got a lot of national attention because as one of the biggest textbook buyers in the country, Texas could influence what kids in other states are taught as well.

Watch the rest of the segments from this episode.

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