THESE aren’t all that common, but we’ve found another example of anti-McLeroy sentiment — an editorial in the Beaumont Enterprise titled State Board of Education deserves slap from Legislature.
As you know, the Texas Senate has (so far) failed to confirm Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist whom Governor Rick Perry has appointed to another term as chairman of the Texas Board of Education (BOE).
Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
The State Board of Education has forgotten the word “education” in its title and deserves the sanctions it is receiving from the Legislature. Regrettably, our region’s representative, David Bradley, has been one of the prime reasons for this reaction.
So far in this session:
— The Senate has refused to confirm member Don McLemore [sic] as chairman,
— The House has approved a constitutional amendment that would shift authority over investment decisions about the $17.5 billion Permanent School Fund from the State Board to financial professionals.
— The Senate is considering a bill that would take away the board’s authority over curriculum and textbooks.
All of this is unfortunate, but necessary.
Despite misspelling McLeroy’s name, that’s a good summary, although there’s much more happening in the state legislature that can affect the BOE, some of which we’ve described here.
Let’s read some more of the editorial:
There was a time in the 1980s when the public education establishment needed a wakeup call, and conservatives on the State Board helped pull it in the right direction. In recent years, however, the board has gone too far in the other extreme. For example, earlier this year hard-line conservatives embarrassed the state with another effort to weaken the teaching of evolution in science classes.
Saying that the BOE has “gone too far” is — how can we put it? — it’s like saying that Count Dracula has disagreeable eating habits. Moving along:
Now, even many Republicans in the Legislature are disgusted with the State Board’s pettiness and meddling. Keep in mind that these sanctions are happening even though Republicans control the House and Senate and the State Board has a GOP majority too.
Verily, a miracle! We continue to the end:
Until the State Board gets its act together, the Legislature should shift more of its educational responsibilities to the Texas Education Agency and its financial duties to non-partisan experts.
If the State Board has fewer opportunities to mess up, it might be able to focus better on its core mission of strengthening public education in Texas.
This is a rather tepid editorial. It does mention the “e-word” once, but it doesn’t focus on the flaming, raving, spittle-on-lips, full-blown young-earth creationism that was continuously proclaimed by the creationist dentist and his cronies on the BOE.
We would have expected something stronger from a newspaper in Beaumont, population over 100,000. That’s not exactly a metropolis, but it’s a university town. Lamar University is part of the state university system.
It may be that Texas is so overwhelmingly creationist that any public expression of anti-McLeroy feelings, no matter how mild the wording, is an act of courage.
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