AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Board of Education is mulling tighter rules on citizen review panels that scrutinize proposed textbooks in the hope of heading off future controversies over evolutionary teaching.
In the past, volunteer reviewers often have included creationists who object to science texts. They complain books weren’t sufficiently skeptical on climate change, evolution and other hot-button issues.
The education board approves books for classrooms statewide but considers objections raised by the citizen reviewers. The proposal board members are considering would create a secondary panel of experts with veto power over volunteer reviewer’s objections.
Supporters say it’ll keep Texans who believe God created the universe in six days from blocking textbooks on ideological rather than factual grounds.
But the board’s social conservatives counter that it could spark “witch hunts” against innocent volunteers.