The State Board of Education was back in the spotlight Tuesday.
The issue of science textbooks drew a crowd of protesters who marched and rallied in support of books which teach mainstream research on evolution and climate change. They argued that some conservatives want creationism taught in the classrooms.
"We're here to demand Texas students get a science education based on established science, not debunked, ideologically motivated junk science," Kathy Miller with the Texas Freedom Network said.
Critics say they have concerns with the comments of some board-appointed reviewers currently looking at the books, specifically one which called for "creation science" to be included in every biology book.
"I don't think there's a single publisher in Texas who's going to put something unconstitutional in the books, but if they're being pressured that far, how far will they go in a compromise?" Miller said.
Former board chairman Don McLeroy—who four years ago declared “Somebody's got to stand up to experts” on evolution—testified Tuesday saying adopt them, but for different reasons.
"The explanations that they put in the book will be so weak that the students who are skeptical of evolution will see it for themselves,” former SBOE board member Don McLeroy said.
Board members will make a final decision on adopting textbooks in November.
Members also heard from the public on high school graduation requirements. This board is devising new graduation standards under a curriculum overhaul overwhelmingly approved by lawmakers this past session.