Texas’ science education problems shift to charter schools

The Texas state school board has just wrapped up a long, difficult battle over how to present biology in its public school textbooks. But a new one may be brewing in the state, one focused on taxpayer-funded charter schools that are outside the board’s direct oversight. Various reports are emerging that these schools are using material that would be unconstitutional if taught in public schools.

Potential problems made the headlines last fall, when a Salon article described how a parent with a child in one of these schools was surprised to discover that his son was given a textbook that essentially Godwined Darwin by claiming, “Apparently the theory of evolution and its ‘survival of the fittest’ philosophy had taken root in Hitler’s warped mind.” Today, Slate delivered a follow up that showed that science textbooks weren’t much kinder to Darwin’s ideas, calling them “dogma” and “sketchy.” These claims are backed by outright falsehoods, such as claims that there is no single geological column, the age of the Earth is uncertain, and that there aren’t transitional fossils.

Both articles do a bit of investigation into the organization behind these charter schools, ResponsiveEd. It turns out that the company is heavily intertwined with an organization called Accelerated Christian Education, a home schooling company with a science curriculum that teaches that the Earth was created via a miracle less than 10,000 years ago. (Apparently, that group’s biology text argued that the Loch Ness Monster was real, therefore evolution was wrong.)

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via Ars Technica http://ift.tt/1gUO9KI

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