Texas Board of Education approves changes to biology standards for public schools

Updated: May. 3, 2017 at 11:26 AM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, TX - Texas may change how your child understands biology when taught in a public high school classroom. The Texas' Board of Education tentatively approved changes to portions of the states Biology curriculum.

Instead of asking Texas public school students to "evaluate" scientific explanations for the origins of DNA and the complexity of certain cells, the state will now ask that the students "examine" the scientific explanations for the origins of DNA and complexity of certain cells.

In the past, some educators have argued that the word "evaluate" encouraged students to challenge the scientific theory of evolution and opened the door to teaching creationism.

Some Educators argue the change could have a huge impact while others say that the simple word change of "evaluate" to "examine" makes little difference.

Some in the scientific community at Midwestern State University shared their own opinions on the word change and what it means for the future of biology in public high school classrooms.

"Initially I thought that evaluate might not be such a bad term. It kind of gave students an opportunity to examine the information, examine the data, and determine if it makes sense. But, that's sort of not the angle that other people were looking at evaluate. With the change to examine I like that change as well because in science that is what we do we examine we observe," said Meghan Rose, Biology Student MSU.

Dr. William Cook is not only a Biology professor but the chair for the entries MSU Biology Department.

"I think that the wording is political. It's giving enough lead way on either side that a teacher with a particular bent is going to be able to do what they want. We need students to be able to think clearly in fact students don't need to give up family values family faith issues to accept the fact that evolution is a scientific process that they have to understand to understand life," said Dr. Cook.

While the TBE still needs one more vote to make before a full approval of the changes can be made Dr. Cook believes that the change will have a bigger impact on the curriculum textbooks than it will have on the actual classroom teachings.

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