TWO new items in Texas newspapers add to the continuing saga of Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist whom Governor Rick Perry has re-appointed to another term as chairman of the Texas Board of Education (BOE). That appointment is up for confirmation by the Texas Senate.
An editorial in the Austin American-Statesman is titled End poor guidance of Texas education, and subtitled: “Texas Senate should put brakes on Don McLeroy’s nomination as chairman of the State Board of Education.” Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
It’s time for Don McLeroy to step down as chairman of the State Board of Education. Since he won’t go willingly (and Gov. Rick Perry apparently won’t remove his appointee), it is up to the Texas Senate to remove him from the chair.
That’s clear enough. Let’s read on:
At a time when education leaders are focused on raising science standards, McLeory led efforts to weaken the instruction of evolution. University of Texas biology professor David Hillis said the result of the board’s actions will be felt in classrooms: “Texas students now have a weakened science curriculum, and the science reputation of the state has been seriously injured.”
It takes 21 votes in the Texas Senate to confirm a nominee. State Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, chairman of the Senate Nominations Committee, wisely indicated he would not permit McLeroy’s name to advance to the floor for a vote if that threshold were not met.
We can hope. Here’s the last paragraph:
It’s clear that the board’s dysfunction under McLeroy has done real damage to Texas public education. It is time to put a stop to it.
Sounds good to us. Now, in the Dallas Morning New we read McLeroy could be near end as SBOE chairman. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Senate Nominations Committee Chairman Mike Jackson said Thursday he’ll make a decision early next week on whether to send the troubled nomination of State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy (right) to the full Senate.
This little drama will drag on for days. Let’s read on:
“I’m going to let everything cool down a little bit, then we’ll decide what to do with him next week,” Jackson said. “If the Democrats decide they’re going to block the nomination, then we’ll deal with that by not going through the committee process because there wouldn’t be any point in doing that.” If McLeroy is not confirmed by the Senate, he would have to give up his chairmanship in June and Gov. Rick Perry would pick another member of the education board to serve as chairman.
We won’t be sorry to see him go, but Governor Perry can choose from some other full-blown creationists on that board who may be even more extreme than the creationist dentist. One more excerpt:
McLeroy, who was elected to the board, would continue to serve as a member even if he loses the chairmanship.
So even if he ceases to be chairman, we’ll still have McLeroy on the Texas Board of Education.
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