Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

August 1, 2007

Making Texas schools safe for conservative dogma

Critics assail Perry’s pick to head state education board

Gov. Rick Perry named Bryan dentist Don McLeroy as chairman of the State Board of Education on Tuesday, a choice that created immediate controversy.

The Texas Freedom Network, which is often critical of social conservatives in government and politics, quickly pointed out that Republican McLeroy was among a minority of board members who in 2003 said biology textbooks should include what they considered weaknesses in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

He also voted with a board majority in 2004 for health textbooks that included little information about contraceptives, despite state guidelines saying students should be able to analyze the effectiveness of so-called barrier protection, such as condoms.

Wow. I can’t believe I missed this. While I’ve been busy helping organize a homeschool conference that would be safe for people to say that they believe in evolution, it looks Perry has been busy making the public schools a haven for those who don’t.

What hypocrites, I do mean both Perry and McLeroy. In a 2003 letter McLeroy wrote against the adoption of certain biology textbooks, he stated:

Don McLeroy’s Contemptible Strategy

In most of the books we are considering adopting, our students are not being presented both sides; the minority viewpoint is being withheld. This means that these books do not conform to our standards.

Apparently, McLeroy thinks it’s important that students have both sides of the “story” for evolution in order to make an informed decision but that’s not the case with regard to contraceptives.

What in the world was Perry thinking in appointing head of the board? Was he trying to make up to the conservative block for his disastrous HPV vaccination executive order?

Anyone interested in public education should be worried with McLeroy on the board, much less the chair. He believes that the board should be in charge of content of textbooks and his views of what that content should include are well known. Looks like the Education Research Analysts will be back in business with the Gablers’ channeling through McLeroy and pals on the State Board.

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