2011 Archives

Board of Ed OKs science materials after minor tweaks


The following is from the July 22, 2011, edition of The Austin American-Statesman. Professor Ron Wetherington, a forensic anthropologist and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at SMU, was interviewed for this story.

SMU Professor Ron Wetherington at a news conference on how science is taught in schools.
SMU Professor Ron Wetherington speaks at a news conference July 21 in Austin, advocating the teaching of evolution in science classes. (Photo courtesy of The Associated Press)

July 22, 2011

By Kate Alexander

The State Board of Education on Thursday gave preliminary approval to new online science materials without making any major changes to what publishers had proposed.

A final vote is scheduled for Friday and amendments can be adopted at that time if eight board members agree.

The online submissions, which cover the new science standards approved by the board in 2009, will supplement existing textbooks. This unusual approach was taken in light of the state’s budget crunch.

The timeline for getting these materials submitted, reviewed and approved has been incredibly tight since they must be available when school starts in late August. For incoming ninth graders, the end-of-course exams based on the 2009 standards will count toward graduation.

Southern Methodist University professor Ronald Wetherington, who served on one of the review panels of the materials, said the supplemental materials were pretty good.

“They’re not golden but neither are they base metal. Which is to say, don’t mess with them,” Wetherington said.

Read the full story.

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