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New Study Shows Major Textbook Publisher Fails to Comply With Texas State Science Standards

DALLAS – One of the nation’s leading textbook publishers fails to comply with the new science standards in Texas, according to a new report from Discovery Institute.

Among materials reviewed, the Pearson / Prentice Hall curriculum stands out for its gross failure to comply with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (“TEKS”), according to a report published by Discovery Institute.

The Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE) is currently considering adopting supplemental materials for biology instruction which are supposed to “analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.”

“The TEKS require students to “analyze and evaluate” core tenets of neo-Darwinian evolution, such as common ancestry, mutation, and natural selection,” said report author Casey Luskin, a policy analyst with the Institute. “But the Pearson / Prentice Hall materials fail to encourage any meaningful evaluation or analysis of evolutionary claims, and they do not present all sides of the evidence so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.”

Discovery Institute’s supplemental report on the Pearson / Prentice Hall materials finds the materials are inaccurate and incomplete when covering the topics of biological and chemical evolution. Specifically, the Pearson / Prentice Hall materials fail to discuss all sides of the evidence regarding the tree of life, the fossil record, mutation and natural selection, and the evolutionary origins of cellular complexity.

The debate over how evolution is taught in Texas has a resounding impact on science education for the rest of the country, as the textbooks approved by Texas typically decide what the rest of the nation has to choose from.

According to Luskin, “By openly disregarding the TEKS, Pearson / Prentice Hall shows no respect for students in the state of Texas or the democratic process that led to science standards requiring critical analysis of evolution.”