Texas: Another “Dump McLeroy” Editorial

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.

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

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4 responses to “Texas: Another “Dump McLeroy” Editorial

  1. Nice sense of priorities.

    You win elections by building coalitions of (some what) like minded people. You lose elections by pissing off people who by and large have much the same views as you do.

    Y’all will like Obama’s second term. Just don’t go whining that you didn’t have anything to do with losing the election! Is proving the superiority of atheism and evolution over christianity and intelligent desing more important than getting a Marxist out of the White House and his buddies out of congress?

    Seems like stupid priorities. But, y’all got to chose. Evidently you’ve chosen to keep Barry in the WH and Nancy in the House and Harry in the Senate.

    BTW: I sure you find that Barry, Nancy and Harry all agree with you. So, your kind of people will be in power. Because kicking around christians is much, much more important than kicking Barry, Nancy and Harry around.

  2. retiredsciguy

    John, teaching science that adheres to the scientific method is not “kicking around Christians.” It has absolutely nothing to do with one’s religious beliefs.

    On the other hand, the perception that certain fundamentalists are trying to force their religious views on others my have had something to do with getting Obama elected in the first place.

  3. mightyfrijoles

    John wrote:
    “…proving the superiority of atheism and evolution over christianity and intelligent desing more important…..

    Because kicking around christians is much, much more important…..”

    I don’t give a damn what your religious beliefs are. I do expect people to be rational and not to ignore millions of pages of scientific data. There are a lot of Christians who accept evolution as the best explanation for life’s complexity. Those people are not “kicked around”, but those who are kicked around are those who refuse to see what is in front of their own, God-given eyes. They are mostly Christians here, it’s true, but Muslims and many Hindus also fall into that category.

    Science is atheistic only in that it neither requires nor asks for God as part of its explanations, but belief in God is a personal thing and as long as you can separate God from science, a scientist can be as fervent a believer as any Creationist.

    I hate to tell you, but being an atheist is not a pre-requisite for being a scientist. Practicing objective science is the only requirement.

    Most people wouldn’t care a whit about Creationism, but many Creationists find it important to push their literal 6000 year doctrine into school science classes. Without that, no one would care who was what.

  4. John,

    McLeroy oversaw the insertion of creationist talking points into the public school science standards, in complete disregard of expert educators and scientists, Edwards v. Aguillard, Lemon v. Kurtzman, and the First Amendment in general. That should disqualify him for a seat on a local board of education, let alone chair of the state board, regardless of his religion.