Texas Public Charter Schools Are Teaching Creationism, Which Is A Load Of Crap

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157673933Texas taxpayers are paying for their public charter schools to teach kids that magical fairies and unicorns are real and that if they walk too far they may fall off the earth. Okay – I made that up. But they are teaching Creationism – which is just as bad.

From Slate:

When public-school students enrolled in Texas’ largest charter program open their biology workbooks, they will read that the fossil record is “sketchy.” That evolution is “dogma” and an “unproved theory” with no experimental basis. They will be told that leading scientists dispute the mechanisms of evolution and the age of the Earth.

Charter schools are run independently but they are still part of the public school system and they are still funded by taxpayer dollars. The largest charter program in Texas is run by Responsive Education Solutions. They operate 65 campuses with over 17,000 students and receive more than $82 million dollars in tax payer money annually. They have 20 more Texas campuses opening in 2014.

The program’s textbooks make dubious scientific claims, such as unsubstantiated arguments against evolution and the age of the earth:

A favorite creationist claim is that there is “uncertainty” in the fossil record, and Responsive Ed does not disappoint. The workbook cites the “lack of a single source for all the rock layers as an argument against evolution… The workbook also claims, “Some scientists even question the validity of the conclusions concerning the age of the Earth.”

Another Responsive Ed section claims that evolution cannot be tested, something biologists have been doing for decades. It misinforms students by claiming, “How can scientists do experiments on something that takes millions of years to accomplish? It’s impossible.”

The truth is, an overwhelming majority of scientists accept the theory of evolution, as evidenced by this statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

Evolution is one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science. It is the foundation for research in a wide array of scientific fields and, accordingly, a core element in science education. The AAAS Board of Directors is deeply concerned, therefore, about legislation and policies recently introduced in a number of states and localities that would undermine the teaching of evolution and deprive students of the education they need to be informed and productive citizens in an increasingly technological, global community.

Taxpayers should have a problem paying money to schools that teach religious dogma and mask it as science. These schools put their kids at a distinct disadvantage. The opening line of the workbook section on the origins of life states, “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.”

I know if I lived in Texas, I wouldn’t want my taxpayer dollars going towards teaching these blatant fallacies. I am not an atheist. I have religious beliefs. I also believe in science and I very much believe in the separation of church and state. It is not acceptable for taxpayers to be footing the bill for this. They get around basing scientific arguments on Creationist beliefs by claiming that teaching all sides promotes critical thinking. But evolution, supported by the majority of scientists, is repeatedly questioned.

The promoting of Creationism is not the only problem with the program – they also manage to insert a religious skew on just about everything else: “In the section on the causes of World War I, the study materials suggest that “anti-Christian bias” coming out of the Enlightenment helped create the foundations for the war.” When discussing stem cell research, “it claims President George W. Bush banned stem-cell research because it was done ‘primarily with the cells from aborted babies.'” It talks about homosexuality as a “lifestyle.” But my favorite citing in Slate’s very informative article was when it mentioned how the program teaches about feminism:

On the feminist movement, Founders Classical Academy students are taught that feminism “created an entirely new class of females who lacked male financial support and who had to turn to the state as a surrogate husband.”

As long as separation of church and state exists, teaching Creationism is unconstitutional and taxpayers should not be expected to funnel money into these kinds of curriculums – which are clearly also filled with a bunch of misogynist, homophobic religious dogma.

(photo: Getty Images)


  1. Mel

    January 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    This is horrifying! Texas continues to terrify my with each new step back toward the Stone Age. Any advice on what the people can do? Are we going to have to wait for a lawsuit to make it all the way to the SCOTUS? I’m not sure it will do much good even then, considering the Court is packed with extreme Conservatives.

  2. Mystik Spiral

    January 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    So will they be teaching creation myths from other religions or just focus on Christianity? Silly and irrelevant question, I suppose. Nobody wins when religious dogma is pushed at the expense of children’s education.

    Texas: Dragging the USA kicking and screaming into the third world.

  3. Rachel Sea

    January 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    At this point the only reason I can see that one would want to live in Texas would be if one wanted to sue the pants off the Board of Ed for civil rights violations.

  4. Aimee Beff

    January 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Evolution is an “unproved theory”. UNPROVED. THEORY. You keep using that word, creationists. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • Muggle

      January 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Unproven *hypothesis*, they mean. Shows you just how legit “creation science” is.

    • Kati

      January 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks for the Princess Bride moment 😉

    • discernment

      January 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      It doesn’t mean what I think you, Aimee, (and most other commenters on here) think it means either. The word “fact” in science does not mean absolute certainty. Scientific theories are not “unproven” but nor are they “proven.” Despite being well-tested ideas, however, theories in science are never scientifically accepted as absolutely true but, rather, as provisional. When theories are accepted as absolutely true it is no longer science but personal belief. Many of the commenters on here lack understanding themselves when they criticize other people for not believing in evolution, characterizing them as unintelligent or ignorant. Even Maria Guido characterizes, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” as being equivalent to magical fairies and unicorns. Now, I am not a creationist but I see where the creationists are coming from. Many atheists mislead uneducated people to think that the theory of evolution disproves the existence of God and this teaching is being ensconced in the schools when there is no teaching of all sides.

    • Aimee Beff

      January 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Are you going to explain to me, a former biology PhD candidate and science teacher, what a “theory” means in science? That’s nice. To become a theory, it has to be something you can make predictions based on, and those predictions have to have held up time and time again. The word “proof” is pretty much meaningless in science but “evidence” is not, and a theory has been well confirmed by a large body of data such that it forms the basis of our understanding of the field. A theory may be built upon or revised – but Einstein’s work with relativity didn’t invalidate Newton’s theories of gravity, nor has modern quantum theory written Einstein out of the picture. Evolution by natural selection is still under study and didn’t stop when Darwin set down his pen – see the Modern Synthesis for more – but evolution is true. It underpins all of modern biology and the evidence (DNA/the molecular clock, fossil records and transitional fossils, biogeography, Lenski’s work with E. coli …) Sorry, but not “believing” in evolution in the face of all evidence of its reality IS ignorant. There are sides in this argument but it’s crappy science just as it’s crappy journalism to act as if both sides in every story have equal merit.

      I’m also not sure where you’re coming from on the “god is disproved” being ensconced in schools. Atheist-me never brought that up for sure (though I didn’t lie if students asked me what I believed in) and none of the multitudinous textbooks I’ve studied or taught from has said anything of the sort. I’ve also never worked with a teacher who taught this (though I sure have known public school teachers who taught students creationism and evolution as equal opposing theories, or even that evolution was in a great deal of doubt!) Anecdata, I know, but I think there would have been something of an outcry if that kind of ensconcing were going on.

      I don’t personally believe in any god or gods but the theory of evolution has nothing to do with proving or disproving it. “God exists” isn’t a testable hypothesis. I know a lot of very intelligent people who believe in both god and evolution. I’m just not one of them.

    • discernment

      January 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      You are a “former” biology PhD candidate? LOL. That statement means you never did a dissertation and you didn’t complete your PhD degree and are no longer a PhD student. The dissertation is expected to make a new and creative contribution to a field of study and to demonstrate the student’s expertise. All you are doing is regurgitating what a person who completed his or her BS degree in biology could tell us.

      You do understand, don’t you, that when I said “Despite
      being well-tested ideas, however, theories in science are never scientifically accepted as absolutely true but, rather, as provisional” is equivalent to saying- despite having “evidence,” however, theories in science are never scientifically accepted as absolutely true but, rather, as provisional? So, yes, I am explaining to you that, although it is plausible that evolution is true, your statement “evolution is true” is not a scientific statement but, rather an expression of a personal belief. Perhaps you never did get your PhD is because you don’t understand that theories in science are never scientifically accepted as absolutely true but, rather, as provisional. So, even if I agreed with you and said that evolution is true, that would be an opinion statement and not language use in science.

      As for me, where I am coming from is that class instruction is done so effectively that students generally are embarrassed to admit before their peers that they still believe in a Creator God. Listen to yourself: “not ‘believing’ in evolution in the face of all evidence of its reality IS ignorant.” Do you tell that to your students, too? Are you really ignorant of the history of the creation-evolution controversy that began in Europe and North America in the late 18th century and the religious implications of Darwin’s book that includes evolutionist rhetoric as such from atheist, Carl Vogt. He said, “Evolution turns the Creator out of doors.” Even Thomas Henry Huxley, known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his advocacy of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, declared: “It is clear that the doctrine of evolution is directly antagonistic to that of creation. As applied to the creation as a whole, it is opposed to that of direct creative coalition. Evolution, if consistently accepted, makes it impossible to believe the Bible.” Well, we know that is a load of crap and is partly what is meant when evolution is charged with being atheistic. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary gives the following definition of evolution: “a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types….” Students don’t usually have the same development as the intelligent people who you know and believe in both God and evolution.

      If you have a PhD level of knowledge you should know that
      all data needs to be interpreted. Atheist will interpret evolution no less bias than anyone else. The fact is even if one kind was created out of another kind, ultimate origin can still come from God. Sorry, but not “believing” in God in the face of all scientific evidence that you accept as evolution’s
      reality IS ignorant.

    • Aimee Beff

      January 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Umm, okay. Sorry that seven years of studying biology at the undergrad and PhD level means I understand science so much less than you do! What are your credentials exactly, you wacky “non-creationist”, you? When you say theories are “provisional” it’s not because we’re going to toss the theory of evolution out the door entirely – never going to happen – but that we may refine our understanding and build on what we already know. “Evolution happened” is a true statement, whatever else we learn about mechanisms and rates of change and transitional species and so on.

      It wasn’t appropriate for me as a teacher to tell students anything about their religious beliefs, although I’m proud to say I had students engage in lively debate from both sides, both pro- and anti-evolution, in which I encouraged students to defend their position with evidence. Nearly 100% of my students were religious (I taught in the rural midwest) and proud to say so – where in the USA have you been that people can’t say they are religious for fear of retribution? In fact I was the weird one where I worked for not attending church services of any sort.

      I don’t know where you live but no one is teaching Vogt in American biology classes and Huxley might warrant a mention in passing as a relative of Aldous if at all. I did not tell my students that it was ignorant not to believe in evolution because that’s not appropriate for me to say in a position of authority, but I did explain to them that the evidence for evolution is insurmountable and I explained to them why I avoided using the term “believing” in evolution – because to a scientist that means the same thing as “believing” in gravity.

      Evolution doesn’t prove or disprove god – nothing can – but there are plenty of valid scientific hypothesis to explain the origin of life and varieties of “kinds” that exist today (they’re called “species”, you wacky “non-creationist”, you) and my interpretation of evidence is Occam’s Razoresquely that there’s no need for a god to explain the world we have. Sure, god could be the origin of life on earth, but there’s no evidence to suggest that, and what’s the origin of god if so? I choose the simplest explanation, which may not be the right one, but it’s what I think is true, and the fact that you have a problem with my atheism (which is a separate entity entirely from my knowing that evolution is A Real Thing; and I had an understanding of evolution before I was an atheist, not the other way around) suggests you have the problem with that you’re projecting onto me when you claim that I’m bullying students into rejecting a creator god. Projection much? In short, lol bye with your creationist nonsense.

    • discernment

      January 20, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Hmm, from seven years of studying biology you seem to lost
      comprehension of anything else. I never gave any indication that “provisional” means you are going to toss the theory out the door entirely. I am not even debating with you whether or not evolution happened. You are so wrapped up in trying to demonstrate all your scientific knowledge in evolutionary theory.

      Good for you and the school you taught at, for board members
      and school administrators are required to allow personal acts of religious faith …but where can I say that people can’t say they are religious for fear of retribution in the USA? The answer is, in fact, public schools. Don’t you ever follow the news? There have been many cases in the news with headlines such as “School teacher tells 10-year-old girl she can’t write about God as her idol” and “Teacher and Principal Tell 6 Year Old Student She Can’t Talk About Religion in School” but I am sure that being the wacky atheist that you are you don’t pay attention to any of that or that these kids are within their legal rights and that the teachers where extreme to simultaneously avoid any appearance that religion (or any particular religion) enjoys special status.

      I never said anyone was teaching Voght in American biology.
      I see that your education is too narrow for you to be able to use a multidisciplinary approach to gain deeper understanding. Drawing from multiple disciplines can help redefine problems outside of normal boundaries and reach solutions based on a
      new understanding of complex situations. Sociological theory can help explain how the teaching of the atheistic evolutionary doctrine from the 1800s and teaching evolution in schools today are related. Are you really that naïve to not know that events in the past affect the way we think today? The
      creation-evolution controversy is not over. It’s not anyone’s atheism or the science of evolution that I, as you called at one point a “non-creationist,” oppose but, rather, atheistic indoctrination in public schools. Atheists don’t want religion pushed on them and neither should you bully creationist students into falsely thinking that there is insurmountable evidence that there is no need for a God to explain the world.

      As you know, there is also no evidence to suggest that life did
      not come into existence because of the will of God. As for your Occam’s Razor nonsense, a simpler but less correct theory should not be always preferred over a more complex but more correct one. It is this fact which gives the lie to the common misinterpretation of Occam’s razor that “the simplest” one is
      usually the correct one. “Preferred” doesn’t necessarily mean
      “correct.” In the scientific method, Occam’s razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result. The principle of simplicity works as a heuristic rule of thumb, but some people like you quote it as if it were an axiom of physics, which it is not. The law of parsimony is no substitute for insight, logic and the scientific method. It should never be
      relied upon to make or defend a conclusion.

      Oh, by the way, I am not a creationist as you otherwise projected on me. I am just someone that respects other people.

    • Aimee Beff

      January 21, 2014 at 8:33 am

      “no evidence” + “more correct” = ???
      “you’re too dumb to finish a PhD” + “I respect people” = lol bye

    • discernment

      January 21, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      I never called you”dumb” and I never wrote the word in anything I wrote above. Rather I refuted you implying others are dumb because you think you are so smart.

      As for a persecution complex, I don’t think so. Agreed, atheists are the minority and are fighting for their “civil liberties” but that doesn’t give them the right to interfere with the rights of religious people and use separation of Church and state to indoctrinate students with their atheism.

      I am not a fundamental Christian but I am offended by the American Atheist leader’s call for the eradication of fundamental Christians.

      The Catholic Church teaches love for everyone, even atheists. Christ’s death on the Cross redeemed all men. He paid the price so that every man could come to God and be saved.

    • discernment

      January 21, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Also, you should watch your language 😉

  5. Sara610

    January 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    The sheer level of idiocy is just…….no. I just can’t. I’m pretty sure I actually got dumber from reading those few excerpts from the text.

  6. keelhaulrose

    January 16, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    This is surprising? It’s Texas. Did we expect modern educational standards?

    • Sri

      January 16, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Well, it’s a little frustrating when I have to adapt my curriculum to ccss (not that it changes all that much, but ccss can be persnickety) when I am in one of the top states in terms of education because they couldn’t get their shit together to compete on a national level educationally, but they run an end run around basic scientific literacy.

  7. Sri

    January 16, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    All of this just gets compounded by the fact that many people don’t understand what a scientific theory is. They think that a theory is a guess, like when you say, “I have a theory. It could be bunnies making everyone sing.” But there’s already a science-y word for that, hypothesis. The fact that they are colloquially interchangeable doesn’t mean that they actually mean the same thing. A scientific theory has to be well supported by evidence. A theory doesn’t have reliable evidence to the contrary. The main reason it’s not a law is because it seeks to explain the why of something, and we are always discovering new areas of “why” as our technology improves and we observe more of the world. Few things in this world make me angrier than those “Evolution is just a theory” people.

    I wonder if these schools also have the horrible lessons about the Great Depression, too. One of the most ridiculous Christian textbooks I’ve seen said that the depression wasn’t that bad and that the Okies weren’t that bad off because they could drive to California (which is just oh so similar to the people today claiming that poverty level is too high because 90-odd percent of people below the poverty line have refrigerators.)

    • Tsitika

      January 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      A+ for the Buffy reference (I’m assuming it’s intentional?)..

      And yeah, as a scientist, it’s really unfortunate we chose the word “theory” to represent widely accepted and supported concepts. I mean, I get why we did but it hasn’t done the scientific community any favours.

    • Sri

      January 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Fully intentional. Well, sort of. I was trying to think of a sentence starting with “I have a theory,” and the song just started playing in my head. One of my students routinely starts singing it in the morning (she’s usually the first one in) because she knows that I will eventually join in and belt out the “Bunnies! Bunnies! It must be bunnies!” part.

      I’ve never studied the history of the word theory. I had always assumed that it started off more concrete and then evolved over time to include conjecture. Linguistics and etymology were never really my bag, but now I’m curious. Wiktionary seems to indicate that scientific theory theory happened in the 17th century, while conjecture happened in the 18th, but the Greek root has speculation as a definition, so now I’m more confused.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 16, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Are you positing that it isn’t the bunnies? Heresy!

    • the_ether

      January 17, 2014 at 1:55 am

      Best. Gif. EVER.

    • Sara610

      January 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      OH MY GOD so much yes. If I hear “evolution and creationism are both just theories, so why can’t we teach both?” one more time, I’m going to throw up.

      Evolution is a theory. A theory has been substantiated by repeated scientific testing.

      Creationism is not a theory. It’s a matter of faith–which is fine. If you want to believe in creationism, it’s your right. But faith =/= science.

      If you want to teach creationism, teach it as part of the Christianity unit in a world-religions class, along with the creation stories of several other world religions.

    • skater60

      February 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      I don’t see any conflict between evolution and creation. ‘Create’ means to make something and ‘evolve’ means something changes. So created things change. What is the big deal here? Here’s what actually happened: God creates strings and says “Now go do what I Say strings do!”. End of story. Strings are now in play and that’s “all” it took, the rest is anticlimax.

    • skater60

      February 4, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      A theory is basically a sensible explanation of how things work, until some other, more sensible, explanation comes along.

  8. jane

    January 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I tried the state as a surrogate husband, but the oral sex just wasn’t up to par.

    • skater60

      February 4, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      Well, there ya go.

  9. Kati

    January 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Theoretically, the sun’s gravitational mass acts on the earth with enough force to pull the earth around in orbit. We make observations like the changing of seasons that support this. No alternative, plausible explanations exist (Such as the existence of a string attached to the earth and tied on the opposite end to the sun, which keeps the earth from spinning violently into outer space. Which would be cool. But is highly unlikely). Is the evidence that we see every day with our own eyes fairly conclusive? Yes. Is the evidence for evolution just as conclusive? Yes. There is no alternative hypothesis that is remotely plausible. The fossil record evidence is robust. It’s only when one attempts to poke holes in the fossil record that one’s reasoning appears flimsy. Can anyone seriously look at bacteria that have grown resistant to antibiotics and not realize that life changes over time? And since none of our dogs have grown horns during the time it took for me to write this, can we also assume that this “change over time” might take longer than a minute? Seriously, this is 2014. Does this still require any discussion amongst full-grown adults? What the hell, Texas?!

    • Mystik Spiral

      January 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Have you ever witnessed a die-hard fundamentalist argue against gravitational theory? We can’t prove gravity, so how do we know it’s not god holding us to the earth?

      I’m not even joking.

    • Kati

      January 16, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      I would ask them if they were sure that it wasn’t satan holding them against earth since he’s underground and all, trying to keep us from floating up to God and blow their damn minds.

    • Bunny Lucia

      January 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      I’m not even religious and that blew my mind.

    • skater60

      February 4, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      God invented strings, which invented gravity, and eventually pizza. Problem solved.
      And I’m serious.

    • skater60

      February 4, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      God created vibrating strings so that all this crap (and us) would come into being. There, that wasn’t so hard.

  10. FormerlyKnownAsWendy

    January 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    But….you don’t have to send your kid to a charter school…..right? It’s not the same as a public school, is my understanding. They can do whatever they want. And you can choose not to send your kid there because they teach crap.

    • thebadlydrawnfox

      January 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      You don’t have to experience something personally to be appalled that it is happening. I feel for those children.

      My mother went to a religious school where the girls were taught how to be housewives while the boys did science and math. How well-equipped to find work do you she think she was on leaving that school?

      It affects all of us in a society if schools are wilfully teaching children lies as facts. They cannot — and should not — do whatever they want.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      That sucks that your mom’s school did that, but there are tons of private schools teaching tons of stupid, outdated, gender biased crap. I would get really pissed about this if it was a public school, I promise. I teach in one. But people have the freedom to pull their kids right out of a charter school when they disagree, and I hope they do. That’s the point of the charter school–it’s different from public and it’s a choice.

    • thebadlydrawnfox

      January 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Yeah, my mom’s school did suck 🙁

      I guess I kind of feel like parents shouldn’t be able to make the choice to teach their kids hateful things (like the anti-feminism and anti-homosexual sentiments cited above) in a classroom environment in place of facts.

      It makes me sad to see ignorance and hatred painstakingly instilled in young minds.

      It would bother me less if the child were also getting a standard education outside of this. I’m sure, as you are a teacher, you put as much a premium on a decent education as I do. I totally respect what you do. After a brief stint as a tutor I know I could never teach.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Oh, it’s exceptionally frustrating to watch people teach their kids ignorance and hatred. People do it all the time and it completely stresses me out. However, after reading it enough and seeing it in person, I guess my surprise over it is gone.

    • thebadlydrawnfox

      January 16, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      I hear ya. It was parents more than kids that put me off a career in teaching, even if sometimes it was because I was hearing the parent’s voice through the kid’s mouth (I’ll never forget the four year old boy — yes, we tutored ’em young — who told me that he shouldn’t get his own pencil and I should get it for him because it was a woman’s job to do things for men).

      Teaching is not easy, and its challenges are uniquley frustrating. *hat tip*

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 16, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      My god, that’s awful. My students are old enough that they’re *starting* to be able to get their own ideas and you can kind of begin to be a positive change. Sometimes I’ve encouraged them quietly to defy these expectations but you have to be careful how you go about it.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 16, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      And thanks for the nice stuff about teachers 🙂

    • Kay_Sue

      January 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      But imagine what that $82 million in public tax money could do for other schools that aren’t teaching Mythology 101. They don’t have to send their kid there, but whether they choose to or not, whether they agree or not, in the state of Texas, their tax dollars are funding it.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 16, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      I replied to thebadlydrawnfox so I don’t wanna say the same thing, but I hope people pull their kids out of the school. Tax money is based on enrollment, and if enough people yank their kids out the school will get the message. Quickly.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Fingers crossed, right? But it’s Texas.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Haha. That many people, they have to have some logical ones… 🙂

    • EX

      January 16, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      I think the main issue, as others have pointed out, is that this curriculum is funded by tax dollars. So, while a texas resident can choose to send their kid to a charter school or pull them out, a tax payer doesn’t have a choice to pay or not pay taxes.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      I suppose that is so. And it does suck. I’m just hoping people yank/threaten to yank their kids out en masse and the school either closes or changes. Tax problems solved….

    • brebay

      January 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      But you don’t have the option of not paying taxes…that’s the point. Charter schools are public. taxpayer-funded.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Somebody already got me with this one. That’s true. I’m still hoping people take their kids out and tax issue goes away. However, If I worried too much about all the things my taxes pay for that I don’t like I think I’d have to buy my own government free island somewhere. Which I cannot afford and I’m not even sure is possible.

  11. Dusty

    January 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I feel like this Slate piece is really misleading as it only applies to this specific charter school system of 17,000 in a state with over 4.3 million students. The title itself is major click bait, imo. I’ll admit to skimming a lot of it, but I don’t recall seeing mention of the fact that Texas school districts have the right to select their own
    textbooks, or that the most recent round of books all include evolution and
    *gasp* climate change, or the major battles that have raged on in the name of keeping creationism out of Texas textbooks.

    My kid just graduated from a crappy Texas school district, so I can attest to the lousy educations being offered here, but our big problem isn’t so much the religious right as it is elitist scumbags like Perry who have robbed our schools of criminally large amounts of state funding.

    Edited to add that I believe creationism should be taught at church not at school, but let’s not get carried away with the click-baity, generalizations about what kids are being taught “in Texas public schools.”

    • Justme

      January 16, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Yes, yes, yes! We DO get to choose our own textbooks and quite frankly, the use of textbooks is becoming obsolete as technology and the access to information grows. And Perry is an idiot, plain and simple.

    • Sara610

      January 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Well, to be fair to Governor Goodhair, if your child deserved a quality education he’d have had the foresight and work ethic to have rich parents who could afford private school.

    • Dusty

      January 16, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Any child deserving of a quality eduction should have to foresight to be born in a state other than Texas.

    • brebay

      January 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      or Kansas.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 16, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Daggone these shortsighted midget terrorists.

  12. Justme

    January 16, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I live and teach in Texas – have all my life. Not once in 24 years of public education, whether as a student or teacher, have I EVER heard any teacher mention Creationism as a viable scientific theory. Never. The issue is not necessarily the teaching of Creationism (they do it at many private schools), but the fact that a charter school receives funds from the public educational system and therefore should not be promoting the belief of one ideology in place of valid scientific theory.

    Say what you want about THIS school and THIS event, but please do not throw the rest of Texas down the drain. There are plenty of quality teachers and schools that are doing absolutely fabulous things to help students learn to think critically about the world and their surroundings.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      I agree. You can’t lump the entire public school system in based on the actions of essentially unregulated charters.

    • Dusty

      January 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      And really, being taught creationism is not even close to the worst thing that can happen to a child attending a Texas charter school.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Not from Texas but totally agree. A few stupid schools do not ruin a state. Especially not a gigantor one…..

    • Lindsey

      January 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Both articles talks specifically about charter schools, not Texas schools in general.

    • Justme

      January 17, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Yes, but the focus in this article is on Texas specifically, as are all the Texas-bashing statements here in the comments.

    • Lindsey

      January 18, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Texas charter schools. That’s what they are bashing.

    • Justme

      January 18, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Yes. But if you notice the trend in the comments, they are wrapping the entire state educational system into one big bag of crazy, which is patently false. We aren’t perfect, (especially on the state level) but there are plenty of intelligent, educated, passionate people trying to do the right thing for the kids.

  13. Kay_Sue

    January 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Yeah. I’m just going to leave this right here.

  14. Music Mamma

    January 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    The mere notion of for-profit education makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Full discussion of the subject and it’s upchuck city.

  15. DookieLee

    January 17, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Dont agree with the headline, this is why

  16. Cordelia

    January 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I’m always amused by the need to explain to creationists what a scientific ‘theory’ is. SRI does an excellent job below, so I won’t attempt it here.

    However, I have found it effective to challenge creationists on their hypocrisy. They accept that scientists can create antibiotics and vaccines, invent flying machines and achieve space travel….but suddenly scientists are a bunch of liberal buffoons when it comes to evolution?

    Come on, now…

  17. Geauterre

    January 20, 2014 at 2:08 am

    There are bunnies, and then there are dumb bunnies. Fortunately, most of the dumb bunnies reside on reservations known as the ‘southern states’. This way, when you pass through their invisible barriers, you must put away your thinking caps, else you’ll be stopped by one of their state patrolmen, who will punish you for revealing that you have a brain.

  18. Robert Bradford

    January 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Schools are leading one of the best but

  19. Kaeley

    January 26, 2014 at 10:31 pm

  20. Alberto Bolonkib

    February 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    The absolute scientific proof of the existence of God is: There are two things in the universe: energy; and, information, which is the conformation of energy. In 1John1:5 it says, “God is light”. Light is energy, therefore, energy is God. Capacitance causes consciousness. The capacitance caused by God’s eternal creating causes His eternal consciousness. If we were energy we would never sleep. We are information, a closed circuit of the one substance, energy, in the one substance, energy, and, we may undifferentiate into confluent circuits, thereby losing consciousness. We may totally undifferentiate into nothingness. That which leads toward that is pleasure. The one force of the universe is pushing all to undifferentiate into nothingness. Everything is running down, or wound up by that which is running down. Creation is a consequence of theophysiology. There are an infinitude of dimensions. The infinitesimal point nothingness, . , is rastered by time into timespace, U, which exerts its oneness in one direction, /, that stirs closed circuitry, O, which all going the same way, vO^XvO^, clashes, X, a “big bang”, which forces confluency, =, to undifferentiate into nonexistence. This is the mechanism of creation. The rest is the force to undifferentiate into nothingness. Too much capacitance is unpleasant, to say the least. God doesn’t like it and we don’t like it. But, mankind cried for immortality so that God incarnated as Jesus Christ to give immortality to those who followed His directions. With the ultimate closed circuitry of the one substance, energy, “what goes around comes around”.
    God, being energy, does the evolution. Evolution is God’s conscious creation.

  21. TheVision

    February 3, 2014 at 5:02 am

    I’m having difficulty with this separation of church and state. They take the word “God” out of the pledge of allegiance, yet they force kids to learn Creationism? I’m much more comfortable having the word “God” in a pledge than teaching children stories that were written thousands of years ago that have no scientific theory.

    It’s not to stay that the stories are wrong, but the place to teach those stories is in a Church or at home from parents. Tax payers should not foot the bill for teaching something that should be taught elsewhere.

  22. skater60

    February 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    I just listened to some of the Ham versus Nye “creation” debate. It was silly. If God came down in Person & appeared onstage and:
    a. told Ham that actually, evolution is the tool He used to make all this stuff, and
    b. told Nye that actually, I did make everything.
    Ham would tell God: “That’s not what it says here in Genesis!”
    Nye would tell God: “Prove it!”
    God would say to both of them: “Fugetaboutit!”

  23. Pingback: North Carolina Faces Backlash For Teaching Creationism in Schools

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