You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

State Board of Education compromises on how evolution is taught


Highlights

Students currently must learn scientific phenomena that challange the theory of evolution.

Under the shortened curriculum, students will compare and contrast cell complexity and examine origin of DNA.

The State Board of Education has compromised on how Texas high school students will learn about the theory of evolution in school.

“I think this is a product … of the board recognizing the input … and working with the committee to come up with an acceptable language … that both meets the expectations of the committee and also balances with it the input I’ve received from constituents, educators, community members and a lot of other folks,” said board vice chairman Marty Rowley, R-Amarillo.

On Wednesday, the panel gave preliminary approval of new high school biology curriculum that is slightly pared down from the current standards. The move follows a months-long process examining how evolution should be taught in classrooms.

READ: How evolution is taught in Texas schools might stir fight

Currently, high school students must learn about scientific phenomena that can’t readily be explained by evolution, like cell complexity, origin of DNA and life and abrupt appearances in fossil records, which left-leaning critics have said invites teachings of creationism and intelligent design.

In January, a board-appointed committee recommended elimination of such teachings but the board in February opted to restore them.The committee has since come backto the board softening the language the board wanted to restore — instead of “evaluating” cell complexity and origin of DNA, students should “identify” or “compare and contrast,” the committee suggested — which has received pushback from evolution skeptics.

On Wednesday, with the blessing of some of the committee members who agreed to the language during public testimony the day before, the board voted unanimously to allow students to compare and contrast cell complexity and examine the origin of DNA instead of “evaluate” or “identify.”

“I’ll support the motion but I’d have preferred that out of respect with the committee, we would have honored their initial wishes and left this standard out,” said board member Ruben Cortez, D-Brownsville.

The board will take a final vote on Friday to adopt the streamlined biology curriculum. If approved, the bill would go into effect in the 2018-2019 school year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Parents, special needs children left floundering after Medicaid cuts
Parents, special needs children left floundering after Medicaid cuts

Stacey English has modest desires for her 7-year-old daughter Addison: Be able to eat without gagging and move both her arms. But since Addison’s occupational therapist went out of business this winter, the child with a rare genetic disorder has regressed in her fight to do even that much. “I don’t know where to go from here,&rdquo...
Looking for a two-bedroom apartment here? You need to make $23 an hour
Looking for a two-bedroom apartment here? You need to make $23 an hour

Renters must earn at least $22.98 an hour — more than three times the minimum wage — to afford a typical two-bedroom apartment in the Austin area, a recent report reveals. The report, released this month by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, studied the wages needed to afford rental housing throughout the country and uncovered broad...
Hutto files 2 lawsuits after refusing to release city manager records
Hutto files 2 lawsuits after refusing to release city manager records

The city of Hutto is suing the Texas attorney general over the state’s ruling that the town has to release some documents concerning its city manager, Odis Jones. The records were requested by or related to one of three fired female city employees who made discrimination allegations against Jones in March, said the city’s attorney, Michael...
Same tolls, new operators for southern stretch of Texas 130 tollway
Same tolls, new operators for southern stretch of Texas 130 tollway

After more than a year in bankruptcy, the company operating the southern end of the Texas 130 tollway emerged Wednesday under new ownership and new management, shedding about $1.4 billion in debt in what its leadership said makes the nation’s fastest highway more stable. Toll rates won’t be affected. The 41-mile stretch of Texas 130 from...
STONEWALL RALLY: Over 200 celebrate, stand up for LGBT rights in front of Capitol
STONEWALL RALLY: Over 200 celebrate, stand up for LGBT rights in front of Capitol

10 p.m. update: More than 200 people gathered on the steps of the state Capitol to speak up for LGBT rights during the annual Stonewall Celebration and Rally on Wednesday evening.  The event had a series of guest speakers including Miss Austin Pride Nadine Hughes and event organizer Paul Huddleston, who called on the LGBT community and its...
More Stories