Board of Ed OKs science materials after minor tweaks

SMU Professor Ron Wetherington and the continuing fight over teaching evolution in Texas schools.

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.

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