What Texas Voters Think of the State’s Curriculum

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll asked Texas voters how they feel about the curriculum and textbook changes recently approved by the State Board of Education.
Of those surveyed, 65 percent said they “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of having an elective Bible course in public high schools, while 18 disapprove. When it comes to science, 52 percent approve of standards that “present evidence that is both supportive and critical of evolution,” while 28 percent don’t approve. And 60 percent approve of history standards that discuss “the Christian religious beliefs of America’s Founding Fathers,” with 23 percent disapproving. Overall, two-thirds of those surveyed said “too much religion in the schools” is not a problem, while 50 percent said “hostility toward religion in the schools” is a “major” problem.

Texas Voters: Experts Should Decide Curriculum

A new poll shows that voters in Texas want education experts—not the state school board—to make decisions about public school curriculum standards and the content of textbooks. Only 19 percent think elected school board members should decide the curriculum, while 72 percent want the curriculum standards to be set by teachers and scholars. When it comes to parents, 78 percent want teachers and scholars to set the standards, with 69 percent feeling strongly about the issue. (Click on image for larger view.)

The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund.

Missouri Follow-Up

Missouri’s bill that would have allowed students to be taught the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of evolution, and which looked exactly like the “academic freedom” bill that died in the state last year, is also dead.

Evolution Magazine From More Than 80 Years Ago!

University College London has posted 21 issues of Evolution: A Journal of Nature, a magazine from the 1920s and 1930s designed to “combat bigotry and superstition and develop the open mind by popularizing natural science.” Insightful stuff.
According to managing editor L.E. Katterfeld, writing in the first issue, the mission of the magazine was to:

be non-political, so that all upholders of academic freedom can support and use it no matter how they differ on other issues. It will be non-religious, never making any effort to reconcile science with religion. Nor will it make atheism its mission. It will carry the positive message of facts from every field of natural science and leave it to the reader to make his own mental readjustment.

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