AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The State Board of Education has voted to revise curriculum standards that would no longer require students to challenge scientific theories about evolution.
The curriculum previously required students to "evaluate" scientific explanations for the origins of DNA and complexity of certain cells, which some critics argue opens the door to teaching creationism. Vice Chairman of the Texas Board of Education Marty Rowley said their amendments focus on maintaining a teachers right to teach and students ability to critically scrutinize all scientific theories.
"Over the last ten to twenty years, there's been a lot of scientific development that allow an opportunity to scrutinize and look at evolution from different perspectives," said Rowley. He continued saying, "We want our students to compete globally with other students across the world and the nation certainly, and we think that if we allow them to critically examine these various scientific theories then that will make better students and will create better curriculum for our teachers."
Rowley said they appointed writing committees to streamline the science essential knowledge skills and had heard from the field that they might have had too many standards.
"We were expecting students and teachers to cover too many student expectations in the instructional days they had for biology and our other science courses," said Rowley.
He also said they feel their decision honors the wishes of our teachers and at the same time represents the values of Texas citizens.
"What we did is we maintained language in those standards that allows teachers to first analyze, evaluate and critique all scientific explanations. The language we adopted as a board allows teachers to examine the scientific explanations for the origin of life than of DNA."
The Board of Education unanimously approved the amendments today.