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Articles and Flyers

  • The Oklahoma Textbook Disclaimer
  • What's Wrong with the Disclaimer?
  • Teaching Evolution
  • The Pocket Darwin
  • Oklahoma Universities statements on teaching evolution
  • Resolution of OU Faculty Senate on Disclaimers
  • Santorum Amendment
  • OESE Web Flyer
  • Letter from Ex-President Jimmy Carter
  • Wedge Plan
  • Anti-Wedge Plan
  • National Association of Biology Teachers Statement on Teaching Evolution
  • OK Interfaith Alliance on Evolution
  • Anti-ID Talking Points
  • Why OK House Resolution is BAD
  • Resolution of AAUP
  • Oklahoma Academy of Science Statement
  • Improving Evolution Education from Geotimes
  • Analysis of HB 1001 Religiosity Bill
  • Analysis of SB 320 "Academic Freedom" Bill
  • Anti-Science Legislation: No Strengths and Lots of Weaknesses
  • Handout for DI movie Metamorphosis
  • Analysis of HB1551 "Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act"
  • Doug Mock Op-Ed "Undermining Science", against HB1551 and SB1742
  • Climate Change: An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society
  • Bill tracking in the Oklahoma legislature
  • Why SB 758 by Brecheen Is a Bad Bill
  • Oppose HB 1674, the Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act
  • How Climate Change is Destroying the Earth Graphic
  • Political Threats to Evolution Education from AIBS
  • Climate Science is Core to Science Education, A Policy Statement of the American Meteorological Society
  • Human-induced climate change requires urgent action, from the American Geophysical Union
  • Why SB 1765 by Brecheen is a Bad Bill
  • Archives

  • Oklahoma Textbook Committee Statute
  • Oklahoma Textbook Approval Schedule
  • 'Disclaiming the Disclaimer'
  • 'Oklahoma's Devisive Disclaimer'
  • Attorney General Opinion on Textbook Committee (2000)
  • Biology Texbook Authors on Oklahoma Disclaimer
  • Whose Creationism shall we teach?
  • In Their Own Words
  • Wedging Creationism into the Academy
  • Rev. Dr. Bob Rice on Creation
  • The Fossil Fallacy
  • Court Decisions
  • Judge Jones Conclusions
  • Oklahoma Teaching Standards
  • Anti-ID Editorials
  • Critique of Blick editorial
  • Dembski's visit to OU
  • Previous Oklahoma Bills
  • Early Anti-evolution Movements in Oklahoma
  • Don't Preach in My Classroom and I Won't Think in Your Church

  • Board of Governors

    Speakers Bureau

    Teaching Resources

    Evolution Web Sites

    Creationist Web Sites

    Web sites on religion/science compatibility

    Climate Change Web Sites

    Climate Change Denial Web Sites

    Oklahoma Legislature and Government

    Other States

    Humor

    Books

    Other Organizations

    Podcasts on Evolution and Science

    OESE Press Releases


    Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, Inc. is a non-profit educational organization that promotes the education of the public about the methods and values of science and advocates excellence in the science curriculum. Activities include participation in educational and scientific organization conferences, workshops for science teachers, operation of a speakers' bureau, and related activities.

    The formation of OESE was prompted by the attempts in the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee in 1999 to diminish the teaching of evolution by the introduction of creationist textbook disclaimers to be inserted into any textbook used in public schools that discussed evolution. There have been bills introduced almost every year since 1999 for legislation that would allow teaching creationism in science courses; OESE has opposed all such attempts.


    Join OESE

    OESE is seeking members. Memberships are available for $10. Please print and fill out the OESE membership application and mail to the address indicated on the form. Tax-deductable donations are also welcomed. Further info in the OESE brochure.

    Climate change

    Recognizing the increased attention climate change education has received in recent years, OESE has added an emphasis on the support of the teaching of climate science in public schools. To that end, we have added links to climate change and climate change denial sites. Many of the recent bills that have attacked the teaching of evolution in the public schools have also included attacks on climate science. We have also added a section on climate and earth science on our teaching resources page.


    NEWS

    Second Teachers' Workshop On Climate Change & Variability.
    The workshop will be held at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station (OUBS) on Lake Texoma from Friday evening, 26 September until Sunday afternoon, 28 September and is co-sponsored by Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE) and the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. The latter group will supply most of the instructors. Limited to 35 high school science teachers and science education students. Topics include current climate science, inquiry-based learning, state curriculum and classroom issues.

    • Taught by experts on climate science and science education
    • Open to all science teachers, and science education students in Oklahoma and North Texas
    • 16 hours of professional development credit
    • Room, board, and materials are included in $25 registration
    High School science teachers and college science education majors from Oklahoma and northern Texas (DFW area northward) are eligible to apply. Professional development certificates will be awarded for those attending. Eligible teachers should apply now! Here is the promotional brochure. Registration now open. Register here. Registration deadline is September 15. Special thanks to the DELTA Foundation for funding the workshop.

    Pie-chart useful in communicating scientific consensus on Climate Change
    A recent paper covered by Skeptical Science indicates that a pie chart can be effective in communicating the scientific consensus on climate change.

    Governor Fallin approves the state's adoption of the new Oklahoma Academic Skills for Science
    On June 19, 2014, Governor Fallin approved the Oklahoma Academic Skills for Science. The state board of education unanimously voted to adopt the new standards on March 25, 2014. The new Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science are the product of more than a year of work by a committee of more than sixty members. The standards are widely regarded as a vast improvement on their predecessors, which received a grade of F in the Fordham Institute's 2012 study of state science standards. More info at NCSE. Thank you, Governor.

    Anti-science bills in 2014 Oklahoma Legislature

    Governor Fallin signed HB3399 on June 5. despite massive opposition from many groups, including Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE), Oklahoma Science Teachers Association (OSTA), Oklahoma Business & Education Coalition (OBEC), Oklahoma PTA, Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Math (OCTM), Stand for Children Oklahoma, United Suburban Schools Association, ExpectMoreOK.org, State Chamber of Oklahoma, Tulsa Regional Chamber, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Collaborative for Student Success, and others. Two retired Air Force Generals, former commanders at Tinker Air Force Base held a press conference urging Governor Fallin to veto HB3399. Two former Georgia Governors, who supported the development of CC, published a 'Point of View' column in The Oklahoman on 4 June ('Oklahoma should keep education reform effort'). Numerous messages were sent to the Governor's office by individuals. Thanks to all who sent messages to the Governor. We really appreciate your help. There may be legal challenges to the bill.

    OESE and OSTA Press Release in response to Senators Sykes and Brecheen


    Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education
    Oklahoma Science Teachers Association
    Press Release

    For Immediate Release: May 28th, 2014
    Science Advocacy Groups Respond to Recent Statements from Senators Sykes and Brecheen.
    In a May 23rd Press Release, Senator Anthony Sykes (R-Moore) and Senator Josh Brecheen (R-Coalgate) extol the virtues of House Bill 3399, which repeals the Oklahoma Academic Standards for English/Language Arts and math, which are based on the Common Core State Standards. Besides containing a number of factual errors the release also raises a number of questions concerning the new Oklahoma Academic Skills for Science that Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE) and the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association (OSTA) cannot allow to go unaddressed.

    Are Oklahoma's science standards the product of federal government and out-of-state interest groups?
    The Oklahoma Academic Skills for Science (OASS) were developed by a committee of more than 50 Oklahoma science educators, scientists, engineers, business professionals and laypersons in a process that took over a year to complete. The process included a system of review and content vetting that involved an additional 450 people from school systems, universities, business organizations, and industry.

      Did the group that created the standards base their work on Next Generation Science Standards?
    The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) served as a model for the new OASS, but for good reason. NGSS is the product of a five-year, privately produced effort to bring the best of what is known about high-quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education together in one document for the voluntary use by states to improve science instruction and scientific understanding. They were developed to be 21st Century standards for 21st Century science students. NGSS is not a federal program and many states are actively engaged in adopting them in total, including our neighboring state of Kansas.

      Will going back to previous Oklahoma science standards mean going back to standards created by Oklahomans for Oklahomans?
    Previous versions of the Oklahoma Science Standards were also heavily influence by the national standards projects of their time. The science Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) were based on the 1990's production of Science for All Americans from the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and the National Research Council's National Science Standards. When writing science standards, PASS authors would have been negligent to not use these tools when trying to define what is best for Oklahoma science students.

      Does OASS heavily promote global warming alarmism, as has been argued?
    OASS standards contain very little in the way of standards about climate or climate change and certainly nothing that could be construed to promote global warming alarmism. The mechanisms of climate and weather are the focus of the OASS discussion and the understanding of those mechanisms are derived through data. The OASS writing team and subsequent advisory panels went to great lengths to insure the standards were free of politicization. Global Climate Change itself is not an area of study in upper grades of the Oklahoma Academic Skills for Science and lower grades concentrate on developing understandings of weather and it's relationship within climate.

      It's been said the rejected science standards did not prepare students for work in STEM fields. Is that true?
    Engineering design and STEM integration is a major theme throughout the OASS standards and an attractive feature that sets the stage for the possibility of someday developing quality STEM integration program for children across the state of Oklahoma.
     
    As organizations dedicated to advancing the cause of quality science education, OSTA and OESE believe that well designed standards are the starting point for building rigorous and demanding science curriculum and instruction. The new Oklahoma Academic Skills for Science certainly fit these criteria. We invite Senator Sykes and Senator Brecheen to join us in developing the training and finding the resources to bring the vision of exceptional STEM curriculum and instruction to fruition for all Oklahoma children.

    For more information contact:
    Dr. Joseph Maness, OESE President, manessjoseph@gmail.com
    Bob Melton, OSTA Communications Chair, bmelton@oklahomascienceteachersassociation.org

    Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, Inc. is a non-profit educational organization that promotes the education of the public about the methods and values of science and advocates excellence in the science curriculum. Activities include participation in educational and scientific organization conferences, workshops for science teachers, operation of a speakers' bureau, and related activities. www.oklascience.org

    The Oklahoma Science Teachers Association is the statewide professional association specifically addressing the interests and concerns of science teachers. OSTA is a state affiliate of the National Science Teachers Association

    Updated Oklahoma Standards for Science upheld
    After a frantic final day in the state legislature, the new Oklahoma Standards for Science are still in effect. HJR 1099 was not heard by the Senate Rules Committee and thus was not approved by the Senate. However, the rejection of the standards was added at the last minute to another HJR, 1097, that dealt with rules for the Oklahoma Health Authority. That bill was not heard in the House before it adjourned for the year.
    Many thanks to all who contacted legislators and worked at the capitol with legislators and their assistants. NUMBERS DO COUNT.
    See NCSE for additional details.

    The story has received national attention from NCSE, Chris Mooney at Mother Jones, Climate Progress, Okie Funk, Daily Kos, The Verge, and Huffington Post and many others.
    Moveon.org has a petition you can sign to support world class science standards for Oklahoma.

    HB1674 dead
    Last year's HB1674, the Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act by Blackwell and Kern, which passed the Common Education Committee by a vote of 9-8 last year but was not heard on the House Floor, was added to this year's House Floor agenda on February 18. Representative Blackwell has filed two floor amendments to the bill. One updates the year that the bill would take affect, and the other removes the specific mention of controversial subjects (evolution, climate change, etc.) in the bill. This follows the tactics used by Senator Brecheen (who is Senate sponsor of the bill) for his SB 1765 in that the bills are getting shorter and more obscure as to what the bill is really about. The bill passed the House, but was not heard by the Senate Education Committee before the April 3 deadline. Thanks to all that sent messages in opposition.
    See last year's analysis of the bill for more information. Commentary against the bill is available from the NCSE and from Okie Funk. Commentary on the bill's defeat at Sensuous Curmudgeon and NCSE.


    SB 1765 dead
    Senator Josh Brecheen has introduced SB 1765, the "Oklahoma Science Education Act". The bill is almost identical to last year's SB 758 encouraging teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies. Unlike last year, there is no list of these scientific controversies, but all the code words of creationist legislation are included. Brecheen's SB 758 died in committee last year. Analysis of the bill by OESE's Richard Broughton can be found here. Further information is available at the NCSE web site and Okie Funk.
    The American Institute of Biological Sciences has sent a letter in opposition to SB1765 to all members of the Senate Education Committee, as did the National Association of Biology Teachers. More coverage from the NCSE.
    The bill was not heard in the Senate Education Committee before the February 24 deadline for bills to be heard in committee. The bill is currently marked as dormant. Thanks to all who voiced opposition to the bill to the committee. Numbers do count.

    Second Annual Oklahoma Evolution Road Trip
    Crinoids in handThe Second Annual Oklahoma Evolution Road Trip has been postponed to a later date.

    Congratulations to OESE board members
    Two OESE board members were honored at the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association (OSTA) Awards Recognition reception on Friday, November 1st at the OERB offices near downtown Oklahoma City. Dr. Julie Angle was named OSTA's Outstanding College/University Science Teacher and Deborah Hill was received her award as Oklahoma Science Teacher of the Year from the National Association of Biology Teachers.
    In addition, Bethany Lorenz was elected President-elect of the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association and Deborah Hill was elected High School Director for OSTA.

    Thank you, DELTA Foundation
    We are pleased to announce that the DELTA Foundation has again granted OESE $ 16,339 for two years (2014, 2015) of teacher workshops on climate change and variability to be offered over a weekend at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station. Earlier support from this family foundation was very important in allowing OESE to offer workshops for science teachers and helped make them highly successful. The Board of Governors of OESE expresses our gratitude for this important support that will help advance science education of high school teachers.
    The workshop this fall on Climate Change and Variability at the Biological Station attracted many applicants. To accommodate the demand the original limit of 30 was increased to about 38. The workshop this year is supported by an NSF grant to Dr. Cecil Lewis, an OU anthropologist. This is the last year of the NSF grant support. Thus the DELTA grant allows a continuation of the workshops.

    Darwin videos on YouTube
    Dr. Stan Rice, faculty member at Southeastern Oklahoma State and a Board member of OESE is producing a series of YouTube videos where he portrays Darwin on various topics.


    EVENTS

    ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL OESE TEACHERS WORKSHOP
    OESE held its first workshop for high school teachers on teaching climate change at the University Biological Station on Lake Texoma, 20-22 September, 2013. A good time was had by all.
    Teachers at computers at the 2013 OESE Teachers Workshop

    Workshop participants at work

    Workshop participants at work

    Workshop participants at work


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    The OKEVOL-L List Serve was established to alert and inform all interested parties in the evolution/creationism debate in Oklahoma. Messages will be sent only with approval of the list managers so that traffic will be kept to a minimum. Information on proposed legislative actions dealing with attempts to place creationist materials into public schools, important scheduled public meetings or debates on evolution/creationism, and any significant other news items dealing with these issues or related items on attempts at inappropriate or unconstitutional censorship will be sent to subscribers.
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    Clergy Letter Project LogoClergy Letter Project: All clergy members are encouraged to go to this link to sign the nationwide outpouring of support for teaching evolution. For too long, the misperception that science and religion are inevitably in conflict has created unnecessary division and conflict concerning the teaching of evolution. The project is also described at the link.



    OESE Joins Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science.
    Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE) has joined the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS), organized coordinate efforts to improve public outreach and science education. COPUS is a grassroots effort that builds connections that support a better understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. COPUS is built around three values: community, celebration, and promotion.

    COMMUNITY:
    We are passionate people promoting good science. By working together as a community, we can build on the cumulative energies, strengths, and perspectives of our members.

    CELEBRATION:
    Celebrations provide opportunities to reflect on the positive contributions of science to society - besides, science is fun and well worth celebrating!

    PROMOTION:
    Science needs good promotion. COPUS facilitates dialogue and shares resources through meaningful person-to-person interactions, making it easier to learn about how science works and why it matters to society.



    If you have questions about the website, please e-mail dhough@ou.edu