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The QueQue

The QueQue: Heath department ordered to assist suffering inmates, Invasive species get a pass in Texas budget

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The evolution portion of the new Texas science curriculum sparked controversy before the State Board of Education adopted them in 2009, as conservatives on the State Board of Education pushed for provisions that would cast doubt on evolution in the classroom. "None of this is surprising to us," says Dan Quinn, communications director for the religious watchdog group Texas Freedom Network, which battled the board's social conservative members over the standards. "We knew this was a board dominated by people hostile to mainstream science on evolution."

The National Center for Science Education gave Texas an "F" two years ago when the standards were adopted. And it's not just Texas' teaching of science that has raised eyebrows. Last year, Fordham slammed Texas' new history standards as politically motivated and evidence of the board's "evangelical Christian-right agenda," saying the curriculum all but ignores slavery and racial segregation in America, while condemning federal entitlement programs like LBJ's "Great Society" and exaggerating biblical influence on the nation's founding. In November, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board warned the state's history standards were so ineffective that they fail to meet the state's basic college readiness standards and "ignore the principles of sound pedagogy." "Pedagogy," another favorite word. •

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