Thursday, April 30, 2009


What Was That About Reaping ...

According to Chairman Mike Jackson of the Nominations Committee of the Texas State Senate, the confirmation of State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy is dead in the water.

McLeroy's nomination will be left pending in committee because there is enough opposition on the floor of the Senate to block his confirmation, which requires approval of two-thirds of the senators.

McLeroy would keep his seat as a board member even if he was not confirmed as chairman by the end of the legislative session.

[Gov. Rick] Perry would then pick a chairman from among the other board members who would not face Senate confirmation until 2011.
Given the other yahoos on the Board that ["lets start the Civil War over"] Perry can chose from, this may not make much difference. However, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill to take away the elected board's authority over curriculum and textbooks.

Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, authored the bill that would remove the board's textbook and curriculum authority; it is pending in the Education Committee.

He said the ideological direction of the board is all right with him now that Republicans are in charge.

"What happens when the worm turns and my party is no longer in the majority?" Seliger asked.

He said the long-term best practice is to take the partisanship and politics out of the decisions about educational materials.
Unfortunately, a key conservative leader, Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, who has already achieved some notoriety and who supports teaching both creationism and evolution in public schools, objects to stripping the board of any of its education oversight, so it isn't clear that the effort will succeed. But Chisum has a warning for the Board:

[H]e said that the legislators' wrath might signal to the board that it needs to look internally and focus on its core responsibilities.
It's clear that the best thing would be to turn curriculum and textbook decisions over to professional educators. Next best would be for the conservative wing to heed the word to the wise given by their allies in the legislature and avoid another brouhaha over textbook selection ... but there is no history of wisdom there.

We can only hope that if the Board makes Texas public education a laughing stock again, it'll be the last time.


P.S. The Discovery Institute whinning about that noted bastion of Darwinist thugs, the Texas State Legislature, will start in 3 ... 2 ...

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