Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Texas Board of Education, lead by Don McLeroy, appointed by Governor Rick "ID should be taught much as the theory of evolution is now taught" Perry, is in its run-up to the 2008 scheduled overhaul of the state's curriculum standards and may be warming up with a little less-than-legal dance around the law ... which, as we know from Dover, is never a sticking point for creationists.
"The state board is clearly thumbing its nose at the law," [Texas Freedom Network] President Kathy Miller said. "A united faction of its most radical members is attempting an end run around the Legislature's clear intent to bar them from censoring textbooks. If they get away with it, then it's open season again on textbooks that teach about evolution and other topics that a majority of board members may have personal and political objections to."A little muscle flexing to let the publishing industry know who is in charge? It's going to be a fun 2008.
Earlier today, the state board voted to reject a proposed mathematics textbook for third grade. Board members who voted to reject that textbook refused to give reasons for doing so. They claimed that the board is not required to say why it rejects any textbook. Yet under a law passed by the Legislature in 1995, Senate Bill 1, the state board may reject a textbook only if it fails to cover the state's curriculum standards, has factual errors, or fails to meet manufacturing requirements. Subsequent opinions from two state attorneys general – a Democrat and a Republican – have upheld those limits on the board's ability to control textbook content.
TFN's Miller said the issue at stake is about far more than the rejection of a single mathematics textbook today. TFN takes no position on whether that textbook should have been rejected.
"If the state board does not have to give a reason for rejecting a textbook, then the law is toothless," she said. "And if that's the case, then the content of our schoolchildren's textbooks will be based on the personal and political beliefs of whatever majority controls the state board. That's precisely what the Legislature acted to prevent in 1995."
In Texas? Naw! They just send their incompetents to Washington.