In the Washington Watch article in the January issue of BioScience, Robert Gropp reports on recent evolution education developments in Texas.
An excerpt from the article follows:
Just over two years ago, intelligent design and creationism (IDC) proponents suffered a stunning legal defeat when a federal judge ruled that intelligent design is no different from religious belief in creationism and has no place in the science classroom. Long-time science education advocates applauded the significant victory in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case (400 F. Supp. 2d 707 [M.D. Pa. 2005]).
Since the Kitzmiller decision, politicians from state capitols to the halls of Congress have seized on reports warning that the nation’s schoolchildren continue to lag behind international peers in science and mathematics, and that the nation’s global leadership in research and innovation are in jeopardy. Nationally, Congress and the executive branch have moved with alacrity to enact legislation intended to stimulate innovation and enhance science education through teacher training and improved instruction. Governors, working through the National Governors Association, have launched “Innovation America,” a plan that recognizes the important role states play in training skilled and scientific workforces. Also since Kitzmiller, many elected officials who advocated—sometimes surreptitiously—teaching IDC have lost elections. In this context, some in the science community hoped for a respite from the evolution issue. But political interests seeking to serve the IDC community remain, particularly at the state and local levels, and in some circumstances, they retain power.
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