The Texas state board of education is currently engaged in a debate over science standards and how to teach evolution in public schools, the Associated Press reports.
In a recent Cato policy analysis, Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict [pdf], Associate Director of Education Policy Studies Neal McCluskey examines the root cause of the debate, and how to fix it.
Ultimately, the problem in Texas isn’t whether or not the theory of evolution has weaknesses, or whether pointing to such weakness is religiously or scientifically motivated. The problem is that the public schooling system requires everyone in the state to fund schools that take a single view, resulting in divisive conflict in the short-term and erosion of liberty in the long. Add to this that government-mandated orthodoxy is inherently incompatible with free inquiry, and it is clear that what Texas needs isn’t to decide what everyone will learn, but how to give everyone the ability to choose where and how their children will be educated.
For more on solutions to America’s troubled education system, check out McCluskey’s book, Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education.