I leave the country for a few weeks, and science education falls apart.
That’s not quite fair: the impending destruction of Texas’ science standards has loomed for quite some time. But the first meetings regarding the construction of the new curriculum have taken place, and the dame should be complete by the end of the summer.
At issue, of course, is the push by the Board of Education chair Don McLeroy to teach the “strenghts and weaknesses” of evolution. This, of course, is another “academic freedom”-esque smoke screen for shoehorning “Goddidit” arguments into science classrooms. The Austin Chronicle has an excellent opinion piece documenting McLeroy’s inanity; trust me, read it right now.
My uncle who lives in Houston tried to convince me that I should teach in Texas (instead of in Washington, where I will begin teaching in September.) Indeed, Texas compensates teachers much more generously than Washington, and the Houston area is beautiful by all accounts. But I think I would need a powerful martyr complex to begin my career in a state whose board of education is headed by a creationist lackwit. Severe kudos and mad props to all science teachers who give evolution the central treatment it deserves.