Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Texas Two-Step

Texas politicians continue their war against quality education. The National Center for Science Education is reporting that a member of the Texas State House of Representatives (guess which party) has introduced a bill to amend the Education Code, that presently reads:

A person may not grant or award a degree or offer to grant or award a degree on behalf of a private postsecondary educational institution unless the institution has been issued a certificate of authority to grant the degree by the board [that is, the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board] in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.

... to the following:

The provisions of this subchapter do not apply to a private educational institution, including a separate degree-granting program, unit, or school operated by the institution, that: (1) does not accept state funding of any kind to support its educational programs; (2) does not accept state-administered federal funding to support its educational programs; (3) was formed as or is affiliated with or controlled by a nonprofit corporation or nonprofit unincorporated organization; and (4) offers bona fide degree programs that require students to complete substantive course work in order to receive a degree from the institution.

You may remember that the Institute for Creation Research was denied permission to offer an online master's degree in Science Education last year. As the Editorial Board of the Austin American-Statesman said at the time:

Dedicated learning in its many forms is generally wonderful. But course work must be labeled correctly. The state is right to require that a graduate degree in creation studies, which the Institute of Creation Research offers, be called what it is - a degree in religion, not science.

The NCSE contacted the bill sponsor's office to inquire if the bill would apply to the ICR's graduate school and was told by a staffer that he thought it would.

If this bill is enacted, not only will truth in education suffer, so will truth in advertising.

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