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Textbook Case: Texas Education Board Seeks To De-Politicize Book Review Process – Maybe

It looks like Texas may be trying to put an end to its annual showdown over whether to add creationism to public school science textbooks.

A new procedural change does something fairly radical: It gives priority to qualified teachers on the external review panels that assist the book selection process. Read more

Creationism Corralled: Eight States Reject Creationist Measures

We always like to report positives, and this week the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) delivered some very good news: legislation aimed at pushing creationism in public schools failed in eight states this year.

The bills ranged from subtly promoting so-called “academic freedom” to openly attacking evolution by offering “equal treatment” for creationism and “intelligent design.” They’re all bad ideas intended to inject religion into biology classes, and we’re very happy to see they failed. Read more

Bad Choice: Ohio Official Drops Creationism Crusade – And Takes Up School Vouchers

Some people just don’t know when to give up.  Take Springboro (Ohio) school board member Kelly Kohls. Kohls recently suggested that “intelligent design,” the current variation of creationism, be taught in her local public schools.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Kohls said, “Creationism is a significant part of the history of this country. It is an absolutely valid theory and to omit it means we are omitting part of the history of this country.” Read more

David v. Goliath: Louisiana Student Girds For Battle On Behalf Of Sound Science

A Louisiana high school senior is on a mission to save science education in his home state.

Zachary Kopplin, a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, wants to see the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act repealed, and he’s working with state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) to garner support for a bill she plans to introduce in April that will do just that.

One of his first stops to rally the troops was the Darwin Day event put on by the Louisiana chapter of Americans United last weekend at a Unitarian church in Baton Rouge. Read more

A Win In Louisiana: Textbook Council Backs Bona Fide Biology Books

We have some good news out of Louisiana today – news we can hardly believe.

By a vote of 8-4, the state’s Textbook/Media/Library Advisory Council voted to support biology textbooks that uphold sound science and do not allow fundamentalist religious concepts to interfere.

For once, Louisiana has provided a glimmer of hope that maybe it no longer wants to be a science-education laughing stock. Read more

Louisiana Alert: Family Forum Is Targeting The Science Curriculum

As we feared, Religious Right activists are moving to undermine Louisiana’s public school science curriculum.

When Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law the “Science Education Act” in 2008, Americans United warned that it was merely another attempt for creationists to slip fundamentalist religion into biology classes. Read more

Cross To Bear: Ohio Battle Over Preaching Teacher Moves Toward Resolution

A long-running legal battle over religion in an Ohio public school appears to be drawing to a close.

The case involves a former eighth-grade science teacher named John Freshwater at Mount Vernon Middle School, who was accused of teaching creationism, posting religious signs in his classroom and engaging in other legally dubious activities.

Ironically, none of that stuff, as bad as it is, brought Freshwater under scrutiny. His downfall began after he used an electronic device called a Tesla coil to burn a small cross on a student’s arm. Read more

Origin Of The Specious: AU Attorney Comments On The Evolution Of Creationism

Tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. There has been a lot of interest in this important anniversary among the media, and some editors and reporters are using the occasion to re-examine the issue of teaching evolution in the public schools.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Americans United Assistant Legal Director Richard B. Katskee"][/caption] Read more

Board Bungle: Louisiana Opens The Door To Creationism – Again

Education officials in Louisiana yesterday had the opportunity to slam the door firmly on the teaching of creationism and "intelligent design" (ID) in public schools. Unfortunately, they did not take it.

The state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 10-0 to adopt new science guidelines that critics fear will muddy the waters and open the door to sectarian concepts in science class. Read more

Troubling Times: N.Y. Newspaper Promotes Creation Museum During Special Arts & Leisure Weekend

Is the Gray Lady about to convert to fundamentalism?

I don't think so, but I was disappointed to see Kentucky's notorious Creation Museum listed among the attractions in The New York Times' Arts & Leisure Weekend Promotion heralded in a special pullout section of my newspaper last Sunday

During the Jan. 8-11 event, The Times sponsors public debates and discussions of contemporary issues and touts two-for-one admission discounts at museums, movies and shows in New York and around the country. Read more

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