Zack Kopplin describes an example of crackpot-idea synergy in a recent Slate piece about how “Texas Public Schools Are Teaching Creationism.”
Responsive Ed has a secular veneer and is funded by public money, but it has been connected from its inception to the creationist movement and to far-right fundamentalists who seek to undermine the separation of church and state.
Infiltrating and subverting the charter-school movement has allowed Responsive Ed to carry out its religious agenda—and it is succeeding. Operating more than 65 campuses in Texas, Arkansas, and Indiana, Responsive Ed receives more than $82 million in taxpayer money annually, and it is expanding, with 20 more Texas campuses opening in 2014.
Along with the usual evolution-denialist drivel, those taxpayer funds are buying a threat to public health:
The only study linking vaccines to autism was exposed as a fraud and has been retracted, and the relationship has been studied exhaustively and found to be nonexistent. But a Responsive Ed workbook teaches, “We do not know for sure whether vaccines increase a child’s chance of getting autism, but we can conclude that more research needs to be done.”
Anti-vax lunacy from the religious right? Who would have thunk it?
Well, other than people who have looked at the data, that is.