The San Angelo Standard-Times interviews Texas governor (and GOP candidate) Rick Perry about his views on education, and out comes the ugly anti-science fanaticism again. Perry thinks the Texas State Board of Education is doing a terrific job, and he’s “a firm believer” in teaching creationism in public schools.
Do you think the role of the State Board of Education should be revised given the recent controversy over curriculum and textbook selection?
The State Board of Education is an independently elected body that is charged with developing college- and career-ready curriculum standards for our state. As elected officials, they are accountable to their constituents for implementing curriculum standards that will ensure the best education possible for our state. I have repeatedly stated that the curriculum adopted by the SBOE should be rigorous, grade-level specific, and contain college- and career-ready standards, and I believe we have the right system in place to determine our school curriculum.
Explain where you stand on evolution-creationism being taught in school.
I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution. The State Board of Education has been charged with the task of adopting curriculum requirements for Texas public schools and recently adopted guidelines that call for the examination of all sides of a scientific theory, which will encourage critical thinking in our students, an essential learning skill.
Of course, any effective critical thinking curriculum would show the barrenness of creationism and intelligent design and the richness of evolution.
Luckily Christine Gregiore feels that science is a better route to understanding our world than religion. From 2008:
Gregoire says she opposes teaching abstinence-only sex education in the classroom. She also opposes teaching creationism in schools, saying “I want science-based education in our schools.”
I guess it is no wonder that the Texas BOE permits non-scientific approaches to be taught as science. We may be lucky that California is fighting back hard. Check out legislation that just passed and is waiting for a signature – SB1451.
California wants to know what changes the Texas BOE decisions have on textbooks, especially ones that go against its own education standards. As the legislation states:
The proposed changes in Texas, if subsequently reflected in textbooks nationwide, pose a serious threat to Sections 51204.5, 60040, 60041, 60043, and 60044 of the Education Code as well as a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California.
Looks like a battle between Texas and California for the textbook industry’s focus on science is shaping up. Hope California wins. As a few of our earlier leaders in America stated:
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. Thomas Jefferson. 1816.