In late March, the Texas State Board of Education held several days of debate over new curriculum requirements scheduled to take effect in 2010. The school board eventually decided to accept evolution as accepted, mainstream science -- but the standards were modified to instruct that students examine "all sides of scientific evidence" on a range of topics. Critics of the school board say that phrases such as 'all sides' and 'examine the strengths and weaknesses' (a phrase rejected by the board after debate) are code words that would allow the teaching of creationism in the science classroom.
The large state of Texas is considered a crucial battleground in the fight over teaching evolution, as its purchasing power gives the state's curriculum standards a good deal of influence over the content of textbooks sold around the country. We'll find out how the topic of evolution will be taught under the new standards.