The Texas State Board of Education recently made a ruling regarding a controversial debate over evolutionary content in a high-school textbook. The material that students are taught in high-school lessons is a topic that has become increasingly controversial over the past few years in Texas. Previously, the Texas Board of Education was forced to make a ruling regarding a history curriculum that conservative board members believed to be too liberal. This biology textbook debate represents another instance of this ongoing issue in Texas.
In this particular situation, religious advocates argue that evolution should not be taught in schools, as it is simply a creation theory that has not been proven. This argument surfaced in the form of a complaint regarding the approval of a biology textbook destined for use in Texas high schools.
In terms of the debate over the history curriculum in March, a board ruling was reached that saw teachings take on a more conservative tone, as cited by The New York Times. This issue saw conservative board members clash with liberal board members over topics such as Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Christian motivations of the founding fathers and the separation of church and state.
A ruling in favor of more conservative teaching meant that Thomas Jefferson’s role in inspiring revolutions during the 18th and 19th centuries was downplayed. Liberal board members argued that this stemmed from his affiliation with the separation of church and state and serves as an example of a conservative agenda among board members. More than 100 amendments were made to the state curriculum that will serve as a template for textbook publishers in the coming year.
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