Unfortunately each state was allowed, even encouraged to create and maintain their own school systems and this includes the curriculum. As of the 20’s creationists have attempted to insinuate their brand of fundamentalism into the public school curriculum, aiming specifically at the teaching of evolution, e.g. Tennessee State law and into the 90’s with the Katzmiller case. This is just another attemt to do the same in Texas with the intelligent design smoke screen. And Gary’s right about the textbook controversy. There are now only six companies in the US publishing texts for public school and Texas has been at the forefront of textbook
Publishing under the influence of the religious right:
And due to the money that religious organizations are pumping into the Texas State board to influence the curriculum (fear that kids are taught a godless, secular philosophy under the guise of science and social studies) text publishers are leaning in that direction. It will be up to all state boards to block this pseudoscience and historical revisionism from classrooms here in the US. Thankfully Ohio’s standards include the teaching of evolution in their benchmarks and a study of constitutional law, including cases that deal with religion (I didn’t post them but see ODE science standards, pages 34-41).