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Science Advocates Call For Textbook Revisions On Climate Change

Educators are calling for changes, but two of the nation’s largest academic publishers are holding firm on how climate science has been presented in textbooks set to be approved by the Texas State Board of Education next week. 

The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan grassroots organization of more than 85,000 religious and community leaders, which defines itself as “the state’s watchdog." The nonprofit, which decries textbook censorship in its mission statement, has so far been able to convince the state board to accept some revisions to textbooks.  

But a major hurdle remains. The group is still hoping to get two top publishers, McCraw-Hill and Pearson, to change how they have presented climate change in new social studies texts. Josh Roseau is with the National Center For Science Education. He reviewed the two publisher’s submissions (view the report at this link), and he said that in one book, the publishers have used a prominent anti-climate change group, the Heartland Institute, as a creditable source in addressing the very existence of climate change.

“There is no reason, in a social studies textbook, to be having the debate of whether climate change is caused by humans, but if they did want to have such a debate, there are more equally balanced sources to be drawn from,” said Roseau.

Roseau added that strangely enough, both McGraw-Hill and Pearson provided accurate portrayals of climate change in science textbooks adopted by the state board in 2013. 

But not everyone disagreed with the publishers. Alice Linahan is a conservative political activist representing several groups, and a mother.

“I want to see facts, I want my child to learn the facts. When there’s a disagreement, let's show both sides of the disagreement,” she said.

If there is to be any change, the publishers have until next week to submit them before the state board makes its final adoption. 

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.