Some time ago, I posted about the grave concerns about a greater call to remove teacher tenure and increase the power of governments, special interests, and individuals to control education. The particular article I wrote focused on how some Chinese university students have been barred from learning their own history, except the history sanitized by the government.
Earlier this week, I received an alert from other science teachers asking us all to be vigilant about the “Question Evolution” campaign … it is the standard set of attacks on natural selection: label it religion, and ask why it is being taught in schools (note: it is not a religion). Ask about how so many questions remain unanswered, therefore it is only a “theory”, and shouldn’t be taught as fact (the semantics argument that seeks to confuse people into saying “let’s get rid of it”).
According to this little article … and given its source, who knows if it is true or not … some individuals are going after textbook companies by hammering away in Texas at not teaching natural selection. Because Texas is still buying state textbooks (states like California and Illinois have stopped buying textbooks, at least for the near future), Texas government officials will have a huge say in what goes into textbooks that are marketed nationwide. While I doubt that blatant lies will be published, it is far easier to exclude scientific truths via censorship. In fact, this has happened before. For many years, California was the nation’s largest textbook buyer, and whatever California mandated pretty much ended up in textbooks. Even Richard Feynman wrote of attempts to bribe him by publishers to get approval for a physics textbook in California (see his autobiography Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman for his take on this). Textbooks, as any college student will tell you, is a major racket!
If there existed a system that protected teachers from government (local, state, or otherwise) interference, while still weeding out underperforming teachers, this would be less a problem.
But that’s not what Americans want now a days.