Mark Chancey of Southern Methodist University is one of the leading authorities on the role of the Bible and religion in public schools. In his recent report, Reading, Writing & Religion II: Texas Public School Bible Courses, Chancey examines the content of Bible courses in Texas schools. Here are some of his findings:
- 57 Texas school districts taught courses on the Bible in 2011-2012. (Double the number of courses taught in 2006-2007).
- Many public school Bible courses have ignored guidelines passed by the Texas Legislature in 2007.
- Most teachers who teach these courses are not adequately trained.
- Bible courses often reflect the religious views of the instructor. When courses are biased, they tend to favor conservative Protestant views of the Bible.
- Anti-Jewish bias “is not uncommon,” although sometimes it is unintentional.
- Some courses claim that the Bible “provides scientific proof of a 6,000 year earth.”
- Some courses on the Bible teach students that the United States was founded as a Christian nation.
- A “number” of school districts complied with legislative requirements for teaching the Bible in public schools.
- “Successful” Bible courses could be found in urban, suburban, and rural school districts.