And you thought that intelligent design was bad for Texas education
It appears that there are more efforts to undermine the quality of science education in Texas. First we have the whole teaching of “strengths and weaknesses of evolution” debacle. Now, some in the state government are trying to bypass higher education boards to allow unqualified and illegitimate institutions to grant higher degrees.
This news comes form the good people at the NCSE:
House Bill 2800 (PDF), introduced in the Texas House of Representatives on March 9, 2009, would, if enacted, in effect exempt institutions such as the Institute for Creation Research’s graduate school from Texas’s regulations governing degree-granting institutions.
The timeline is clear. The Institution of Creation Research (ICR) moves to Texas in 2007. The Texas Higher Education Coordination Board denied the ability of the ICR to grant masters degrees on April 24, 2008. Now, less than a year later, Leo Berman introduces a bill (HB 2800) that would allow the ICR to again offer masters degrees in creation science (I am not sure about PhDs).
So what has changed with the introduction of this new bill? If qualified, certain “institutions” would not require the board’s approval to grant degrees. House Bill 2800 will provide exceptions for institutions that don’t accept state funding, don’t accept state-administered federal funding, are nonprofit, and have substantial coursework. As the NCSE points out, the ICR would fulfill these requirements.
In my opinion, these are pretty loose guidelines. Undoubtedly, the ICR will be the first to benefit from these changes, but who is next?