BACKGROUND: The Texas Senate has (so far) failed to confirm Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist whom Governor Rick Perry has appointed as chairman of the Texas Board of Education (BOE). The Texas legislative session ends on 01 June.
The Austin American-Statesman has an editorial titled: Legislature has obligation to Texas schoolchildren, subtitled “State Board of Education needs more than a new chair.” Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Don McLeroy’s disastrous tenure as chairman of the State Board of Education might well have come to an end. Thank goodness.
State Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, chairman of the Senate Nominations Committee, declared McLeroy’s confirmation dead in the water. If so, Gov. Rick Perry will have to look to the other nine Republicans on the 15-member elected board for a new board chair.
We like their attitude. Let’s read on:
Simply removing McLeroy, a dentist, from the chairmanship won’t be enough to bring sanity to a board that continues to bog down in discussions about whether creationism or intelligent design should be taught as part of the science curriculum, whether people play a significant role in global warming and whether the Earth is just a few thousand years old. Then there is the fact that some board members have made clear their distaste for public education and preference for home schooling.
Good paragraph, but we demur on global warming. Our Curmudgeonly doubts are quite irrelevant to this post, however. We continue:
Perry’s next appointment for the chair of the education board will be politically revealing. If the governor simply swaps McLeroy for another hardliner on the right, it will be seen as a move to appeal to a conservative GOP base in the run-up to the 2010 Republican primary, where he is expected to face a challenge from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
That will certainly be interesting, but we already know quite enough about Perry from the fact that he’s a McLeroy fan. Here’s more:
Certainly, there are Republican members of the board who could and would provide steady, effective leadership that would put the board back on track with its mission to improve public education. For schoolchildren’s sake, Perry should select from that group.
We agree, that’s what Perry should do. We’ll be watching.
There’s more to the editorial. Click over to the Austin American-Statesman and take a look.
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