Americans United for Separation of Church and State has a great online article on recent developments in the Texas conflict over teaching evolutionary biology.
The article provides a good summary and context for the 10-year review of TEKS science standard by the Texas State Board of Education. (Click here for a page with links for playing or downloading audio files of the November 19 public hearings.)
The article features the case of Chris Castillo Comer, who was forced out of her job as director of science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency, where she had worked for nearly 10 years. I haven’t done anything on this blog regarding her case, since I don’t have anything to add to what others have written. However, the AU article reports that what happened to her is being used to intimidate other educators in the state, which would provide examples of how inclusion of the “strengths and weaknesses” language after this round of the controversy could very well provide official legitimation for that kind of intimidation. (Defenders of the language are asking for examples, suggesting that the language is harmless, having been in the standards for the past twenty years.)
From the AU article:
Despite the pleas from clergy, educators, scientists and civil liberties activists in Texas, Comer knows the reality of what they are up against.
“I’ve sat down with a lot of reporters to do interviews, and they always are telling me the majority of Texans don’t believe in evolution so why should it be taught in public schools,” she said. “These are educated people with college degrees saying things like this.”