State panels, other experts give proposed Texas science textbooks a thumbs-up while climate deniers launch attack

Texas state flag.

Official and independent reviewers have given proposed new science textbooks in Texas passing marks, while opponents of teaching about climate change are objecting to the textbooks under consideration by the State Board of Education.

Last month, West Texas Congressman August Pfluger, R-San Angelo, criticized the proposed Grade 8 science textbooks for complying with the current science standards, describing their inclusion of climate change as an attempt to "brainwash our children."

"The state board must decide whether science textbooks and our public schools should teach the truth about climate change or lie to students about a critical challenge they will inherit," said Rocío Fierro-Pérez (she/her/ella), interim political director of the Texas Freedom Network. "As Texans struggle with a changing climate and a fragile power grid, the state board must reject the efforts of those who seek to play politics and censor the education of our kids."

Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education published a report from an independent panel of scientists and educators who reviewed the proposed textbooks and gave them passing marks for the coverage of climate change in nearly all of Grade 8 and relevant high school textbooks submitted by publishers. Official teams for the Texas Resource Review have also found that the textbooks conform to state science standards.

"Students across the country are learning about climate change from textbooks just like those under consideration in Texas," commented Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center for Science Education. "It would be a disservice to Texas’ students to cheat them of the opportunity to study climate change in a way consistent with the best scientific understanding."

In 2020, Texas’ science standards earned an F on a national report card evaluating how state standards addressed climate change. In 2021, board members voted to require students to learn about the subject in various courses, including Grade 8 science.

77% of Texans agree that schools should teach our children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming.

The state board is set to vote on which textbooks to approve for adoption in November.

Paul Oh
Short Bio

Paul Oh is Director of Communications at NCSE.