Readers of the Hotline will remember our State Board of Education preview and recap from last month in which Texas AFT joined the Texas Freedom Network (TFN) and others to support the adoption of science textbooks that teach the truth about climate change and evolution, in addition to meeting other science standards. Since then, right-wing enablers of the fossil-fuel industry have launched an attack on proposed science textbooks. These well-monied interest groups are calling on climate deniers to flood the SBOE with demands to censor new science textbooks, specifically for Grade 8.
A joint report this summer from the TFN Education Fund and the National Center for Science Education found that nearly all of the Grade 8 science textbooks meet state science standards and other requirements for teaching about climate change. Scientists and educators in this review even gave two of the textbooks superior ratings for their coverage of the subject. Official Texas Education Agency review panels made up of other science and education experts have also given the textbooks a thumbs up.
The SBOE is set to vote on the adoption of these textbooks at its Nov. 14-17 meeting, so we must take action now to demand that the board reject these attempts to censor the truth.
What You Can Do
Here are two ways you can defend science education and help public schools teach the truth about climate change:
- Send an email to your state board member (cc’d to firstname.lastname@example.org) and urge them to reject efforts to censor textbooks that teach about climate change. (Find your SBOE member here.)
- Submit a comment about any of the textbooks the state board is considering.
The most effective emails and comments are in your own words, but keep the following points in mind:
- Scientists and educators, including the state board’s own review teams, agree that the science textbooks conform to the science standards and other requirements set by the SBOE.
- Textbooks should teach students the truth about climate change so that they can become informed adults and voters who are better prepared to address the challenges they will inherit.
- Claims that these textbooks are attacking the fossil field industry are false and just an effort to prevent students from learning the overwhelming scientific evidence about climate change.
TEA is accepting comments about specific textbooks through Monday, Oct. 30. If you have the time and expertise to evaluate the treatment of climate change in some of the textbooks and comment accordingly, we encourage you to do so!
Emails to SBOE members can continue up to their November meeting dates.