Texas’s Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is appealing the decision of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that denied ICR the power to grant graduate science degrees. According to the story in the Houston Chronicle, ICR plans to take the issue to court if THECB does not reverse itself.
Institute spokesman Lawrence Ford said the voluminous appeal — it is 755 pages long, including supporting documents — is based upon a claim of “viewpoint discrimination.”
The appeal described the board’s decision as “academic (and religious) bigotry masquerading as Texas Education Code ‘enforcement.’ “
Board members and staff are accused of denying the request in April because the institute and its leaders believe the biblical version of the Earth’s creation is literally true.
Institute CEO Henry Morris III said last spring his school’s program includes information about evolution, although he and others affiliated with the school don’t accept the proof of evolution offered by mainstream scientists.
Board members and Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes said they were concerned the degree would not equip graduates to teach science in Texas’ public schools.
The real issue, Stafford said Monday, is whether the institute’s course work — offered online and still available, although not accredited — fits the label of the proposed degree.
The disputed degree is a Master of Science in science education. “Either the curriculum or the label has to change,” Stafford said.
“That label has a particular meaning of preparing somebody as a science teacher.”
Paredes reiterated that in a May 21 letter to Morris. “It was determined that the designation of the degree and the content of the degree were not adequately aligned,” he wrote. “Approval would require either a change in the designation of the degree or a change in the content covered.”
The institute is not inclined to do either, Ford said.
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