The seemingly never ending debate between the Texas Board of Education and groups that feel religious has no place in government is, once again, flaring up, today in Austin, for a vote on science curriculum standards.In a rare compromise, the board is set to approve standards for science class that have approval of civil liberty groups.
While the teaching of creationism is prohibited in public schools, some on the board wanted language inserted that would open the door to criticism of evolution.
There was a push for language like "analyze and evaluate" theories on the origin of species. Instead, what's being voted today would require students to "compare and contrast scientific explanations" for the complexity of cells.
"It's a positive thing for science classes to have students asking questions," Dan Quinn with the Texas Freedom Network tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI. "It's not a positive thing when you have teachers waste precious instruction time on junk science."
He says the move, which is expected to be approved today, would streamline standards. For example, teachers would not be required to go in depth about fringe theory about gaps on fossil records.
"The goal was to raise questions about whether evolution is based on science."
Even after today’s vote, the battle over religious teachings in non-religion classes will continue. Later this year, the board will take on social studies curriculum, and next year, they'll debate health classes and the teaching of sex ed.