Testimony by Steven D. Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science, is now posted at the TCS website. Here’s an overview of their recoomendations:
I urge you to take even more powers away from the SBOE. Specifically, I urge you to revise the law so that textbooks in Texas are adopted by each individual school district, as they are in most states and all other large states such as California, New York, and Illinois, rather than by a central state authority that uses its powers to abuse the process. I also urge you to change the law so that state science standards are written and adopted only by qualified professionals, such as by our state’s university professors and science curriculum experts, as is the case in California and other states. We desperately need these reforms to halt the continuing demeaning process that goes on every year in Austin, in which scientists, science professors, and science teachers must travel to Austin to fight the SBOE for good science standards and textbooks. This sideshow shouldn’t be happening in Texas or any state. In most states, the State Boards of Education want good science standards, textbooks, and instruction, and they listen to and cooperate with science professionals to ensure that their states have these. Also in Texas, the same sorry story applies to other academic disciplines, such as English, math, health education, history, government, economics, and Bible studies, not just science. When will Texas be free of this constant embarrassing and destructive behavior?