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Texas Mulls New Textbooks, Sparks Evolution Debate

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File photo of textbooks. (Photo by Sarah Kerver/Getty Images for Chegg.com)

File photo of textbooks. (Photo by Sarah Kerver/Getty Images for Chegg.com)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Dozens of experts and activists have lined up to testify before the State Board of Education as it mulls approval of new science textbooks for classrooms around Texas.

Tuesday’s packed public hearing allows the board to hear from Texans on 15 high school biology textbooks that have been submitted for board approval.

Its members, however, won’t vote on the proposed books until their November meeting.

Under a law approved in 2011, school districts can now choose books, electronic readers and other materials without board approval. Still, most districts have continued using books sanctioned by the board.

The process already has sparked an outcry from some conservatives who would like to see evolution and climate change deemphasized in science lessons.

But experts say doing so would let ideology trump academic standards.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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