Category Archives: Education Law & Policy

“neutrality” strikes again: banned band shirts in MO (evolution/religion dispute)

A story by Tonya Fennell for the Sedalia (MO) Democrat reports on the action taken by Assistant Superintendent Brad Pollitt in response to complaints from some parents about T-shirts designed for the school marching band’s program, “Brass Evolutions 2009.” Pollitt says he “made the decision to have the band members turn the shirts in after […]


ICR tries again in suit over grad “science ed” degree in Texas

Unwilling to deal with the hilariously hideous complaint that was filed initially by the Institute for Creation Research in their attempt to get accreditation for their graduate degree program in “science education,” the judge ordered ICR to file an amended complaint, and then a second amended complaint, with a maximum page limit of 20 pages. […]

new Lowe standards for Texas Social Studies

An AP article on Gail Lowe, successor to Donald McLeroy as chair of the Texas SBOE, can be found now on the websites of the Houston Chronicle and the Lufkin Daily News. The story quotes Chairman Lowe expressing her agreement with the preachers who have been appointed by the Board as “Experts” to advise them […]

Comer decision appealed

added 8/31/2009: The case of the banned band T-shirts in Missouri may be eerily related to this case. ========= Chris Comer, who was forced out of her job as Science head in the Texas Education Agency for forwarding an email announcement of a talk by Barbara Forrest in Austin, has filed her brief appealing the […]

NCSE: Science coverage better, but creationism creeping in

A new study by NCSE staff (available in html and pdf) finds improvement in state science standards, marred by the creeping influence of creationist language. Here is the abstract: In 2000, Lawrence Lerner and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation reviewed state science standards in 49 states and the District of Columbia, specifically with respect to […]

Kevin Welner “Obama’s Dalliance with Truthiness” (limited time public access)

“During his campaign, Barack Obama was adept at identifying the Bush administration’s failures to use research responsibly. He assured us that he would not misspend taxpayer dollars on projects that were ideologically appealing but unsupported by facts. No more would policy be based on imaginary or invented evidence at odds with the best knowledge available.

“But those who believed in this promise are now confronted with policy edicts from the Department of Education that are as ill-grounded, dogmatic, and heavy-handed as any that emerged from the prior administration. These edicts are tied to the Department’s “Race to the Top,” a $4.35 billion program that is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus spending.”

Jonathan Kozol, 3-hr live call-in Sept 6 on BookTV

Jonathan Kozol will be featured on the three-hour In Depth program Sunday, September 6 on BookTV (CSpan2). The program airs noon-3pm US Eastern Time, and is then re-aired the same weekend and often later weekends. It is also available for online viewing shortly after the live event. September–Jonathan Kozol Author and education activist Jonathan Kozol […]

McLeroy primary opponent announced

See this article in the Houston Chronicle. Click here for (many) previous posts on Chairman Mc (some including audio and/or video) on this blog.

the Comer decision: What “disputed issues”?

While awaiting news on whether the decision against Chris Comer’s suit against the TEA will be appealed, I have finally gotten around to reading the opinion by District Court Judge Lee Yeakel (not to be confused with the Simpson’s character). There’s a serious problem in the judge’s analysis (and the TEA’s argument), but to take […]

Haynes: “religion by any other name is still religion”

Charles Haynes, senior scholar with the First Amendment Center, has posted and syndicated an excellent new column on the First Amendment’s prohibition of religious teaching in public schools — even when such teaching is not explicitly “religious.” The column responds to a controversy reported in the Los Angeles Times over the “Spirituality for Kids,” program […]

Update: appeal v. U Cal win on admissions policy

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has posted an update on developments in the case of Association of Christian Schools International [ACSI] et al. v. Roman Stearns et al. [The University of California]. The suit was brought against U.Cal. by Christian schools complaining that UC’s refusal to count certain courses in their schools for […]

contested McLeroy renomination (links and video)

Chairman Mc’s renomination as chair of the Texas State Board of Education is not going smoothly. Video and audio of the confirmation hearing are now available and linked here. The hearings were blogged live by the Texas Freedom Network, which has also has a blog post on the reported status of the nomination. Other informative […]

ICR post re: Texas lawsuit

An article has now been posted on the ICR website with the title “Censorship in Texas: Fighting Academic and Religious Discrimination.” It’s more of the same, but I think it vindicates a couple points that I raised more speculatively in my previous post on the ICR lawsuit: 1. I wrote, “It’s written in the kind […]

Creationist “grad school” sues over Texas “science education” degree accreditation

Added August 2009: Refusing to deal with the Complaint discussed below, the judge ordered that a new complaint must be filed before the lawsuit could proceed. Click here for the ICR’s second amended complaint. =========== The Institute for Creation Research Graduate School (ICR/ICRGS) has filed a lawsuit (April 16, 2009) against the Texas Higher Education […]

Audio & Video: Eugenie Scott (NCSE) at TX SBOE hearings 2009-03-25

Audio of Eugenie Scott’s testimony is now posted at March 27: YouTube video is now added on the page linked above. You won’t want to miss her interchange with creationist Board member Cynthia Dunbar. Other audio from this week are now posted at

Texas SBOE March 25 testifiers

Thursday, July 16, 2009 The Report below is from the official minutes of the meeting, which are posted publicly months after the event. This list shows the speakers who actually spoke during the meeting, in the order in which they actually spoke. These official minutes are followed in this post by the list that was […]

Texas Bill on “Science” Teaching

A bill has been introduced in the lower house of the Texas legislature that would mandate and protect anti-science teaching and learning in the state’s science classes. Instead of elaborating, I’ve just added the emphasis in the text below: . By: Christian H.B. No. 4224 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the teaching of science […]