Texas: McLeroy Senate Confirmation Hearing

Science Tortured in Texas

Science Tortured in Texas

Disclaimer: The dentist in that picture isn’t Don McLeroy; it’s Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man. This is satire — okay?

Don McLeroy is the creationist dentist whom Governor Rick Perry has re-appointed to another term as chairman of the Texas Board of Education (BOE). Now that appointment is up for confirmation by the Texas Senate.

In the Austin American-Statesman we read McLeroy nomination in jeopardy. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, faced searing questioning during his uncommonly long confirmation hearing Wednesday at the Senate Nominations Committee.

And Chairman Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, said McLeroy’s nomination is on shaky ground because he might not be able to get the required two-thirds vote from the Senate.

We weren’t expecting this. Let’s read on:

Democratic senators Kirk Watson of Austin and Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso challenged McLeroy over his leadership during a number of controversial Board of Education decisions, including the recent adoption of new science curriculum standards that critics say undermine the teaching of evolution.

We didn’t think anyone in the legislature had noticed. Let’s continue:

“You’ve created a hornet’s nest like I’ve never seen,” Shapleigh said, noting that 15 bills – “the most I’ve ever seen” – have been filed during this legislative session to strip various powers from the State Board of Education.

Fifteen? We only knew about seven. Here’s more:

McLeroy, a dentist, does not shy away from sharing that his conservative religious beliefs form the foundation of his commitment to education. But he has not injected those beliefs into the state’s curriculum standards or textbooks, McLeroy told the committee.

No, of course he hasn’t. Moving along:

Watson, however, said that McLeroy has created controversy time and again by not listening to expert advice and replacing it with his own perspective.

There may be some hope for Texas after all. One last excerpt:

All of the nominations, including McLeroy’s, were left pending Wednesday night since all but the committee chairman, Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, had left by the end of the meeting.

It’s an old-fashioned cliff-hanger. Hey, McLeroy: Actions have consequences!

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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3 responses to “Texas: McLeroy Senate Confirmation Hearing

  1. retiredsciguy

    Well, how ’bout that? Let’s hope enough Texas citizens with a mind for science contact their state senators to let them know where they stand on this issue.

  2. I’m pleasantly shocked. I was going to write the nominations committee but decided it wouldn’t be very effective coming from an out-of-stater. Now I may go ahead and send my brief note, it may get a better reception than I bargained for.

  3. I actually had a post already drafted, blasting the legislature, on the assumption that McLeroy’s confirmation would be routine. I was waiting for a news article to quote, and then I was all set to go with it. But when the article appeared, I had to start over again. Darned inconvenient! But excellent news.