State to hear public on science standards

AUSTIN?A policy requiring Texas public schools to teach the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, including Darwinian evolution, will come up for review as the State Board of Education (SBOE) selects science textbooks during scheduled meetings Jan. 21-23 in Austin.

The board held a public hearing on the 10-year-old policy in November; another public hearing is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. ? 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the Texas Education Agency, located in the William Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress Ave., Austin 78701.

Board Chairman Don McLeroy of College Station said the testimony would alternate between the “‘teach the weaknesses side’ and the “do not teach the weaknesses’ side.”

The decision by Texas influences textbook selections for dozens of other states. The current Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills requirements state that students are expected to “analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information.”

Those wishing to testify at the hearing are required to register. Information may be obtained at the following web address: tea.state.tx.us/sboe/forms/registration_testimony.html.

The board requires those testifying to furnish 35 copies of their remarks for distribution to board members and SBOE staff. Testimony is limited to three minutes.

A list of SBOE members and their contact information is available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe.

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