The Institute for Creation Research has announced its appeal seeking reversal of the decision by the Texas higher education board against accreditation for its distance education masters degree in “science education,” which would presumable have qualified its graduates for certification as science teachers in Texas (and, they would hope, licensing as science teachers in other states as well).
According to their press release,
The unconstitutional exercise of “viewpoint discrimination” is the focus of the ICRGS appeal and names Commissioner Raymund Paredes, Assistant Commissioner Joseph Stafford, Academic Excellence Committee chairperson Lyn Bracewell Phillips, and other THECB board members, who denied the application of ICRGS because its program is based on a creationist interpretation of scientific data rather than an evolutionary interpretation, which is prevalent in public education.
The ICRGS petition claims that the THECB failed to evaluate the ICRGS application without viewpoint discrimination. The formal petition sent to Austin includes 26 evidentiary appendices that buttress the academic freedom and other legal rights of ICRGS to offer its 27-year-old graduate program to Texas residents.
The press release indicates how they expect this to go:
The petition paves the way for ICRGS to sue the state agency and its officials in federal and/or state court.
This indicates that they don’t expect the board to reverse itself on this administrative appeal, but they know that the courts would not consider any lawsuit from them until they have “exhausted the administrative remedies” (i.e., this appeal) that are made available to them by the Texas law. In other words, they are on course to bring a lawsuit on the basis of their First Amendment argument about “viewpoint discrimination,” and they just see this as a hoop they have to jump through first.
As Institute CEO Henry Morris III puts it in his post titled “Where Has Academic Freedom Gone in Texas?“:
ICR will submit an administrative appeal petition to the THECB. We are prayerfully considering the possibilities of further due process within Texas. We covet your prayers and continued support as well–and especially pray that no matter what we do, our Lord and Creator will be glorified.
Added June 7: Creation College Appeals to Board, Claims ‘Viewpoint Discrimination’ (Christian Post)
Click here for other posts on the ICR accreditation issue in Texas.