Texas Board of Education: Ken Mercer’s Seat


The elections for the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) are getting more crowded. Our last report on the overall situation was here: Texas State Board of Education Contests.

Today’s story is about the seat currently held by Ken Mercer, a raging creationist. See: Meet Ken Mercer. We’ve already written about one of his opponents, whom we like very much. See: Rebecca Bell-Metereau vs Ken Mercer. But there’s a lot of activity in that race on the Democrat side.

We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Seguin man seeks seat on Board of Education, which appears in the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise, of Seguin, Texas. The bold font was added by us:

A 64-year-old Seguin mental health caseworker has thrown his hat into the ring as a candidate for the district 5 seat on the Texas State Board of Education. Robert Bohmfalk notified state Democratic Party officials that he would seek that party’s nomination to replace Republican Ken Mercer in the post.

We’re not sure how to pronounce that man’s name. Let’s read on:

To run against Mercer in the Nov. 2 general election, Bohmfalk will have to best a field of three opponents in his own party’s primary — Daniel Boone of Canyon Lake, Rebecca Bell-Metereau of San Marcos and Josiah Ingalls of Austin.

Wow! In order to run against Mercer, Rebecca needs to win the Democrat nomination in a contest against Daniel Boone, Josiah Ingalls, and now Robert Bohmfalk — the candidate whose name we dare not speak. The story continues:

Bohmfalk has testified a number of times since the mid-1970s at the State Board of Education’s textbook hearings. “What I’m looking for is not so much what is in the textbooks, but what is not,” Bohmfalk said. “I believe teachers should teach sound science, true history, and in reducing teenage pregnancy and the dropout rate.”

They all say things like “sound science” and “true history,” but in Texas those terms can mean very different things, depending on whose version we’re talking about. As for teenage pregnancy, we suspect that phenomenon is entirely beyond Mr. Bohmfalk’s control. Here’s more:

He was a United Methodist minister for 15 years, and has worked with Mental Health/Mental Retardation clients since 1988 — as a mental health case manager since 2005.

Interesting background, but is that what the SBOE needs right now? Moving along:

Bohmfalk believes he could make a difference and improve communication among members if elected to the state board, which has become well-known for conflicts between factions divided over questions such as evolution and creationism.

What does that mean? We don’t think the SBOE’s problems are due to a lack of conflict management. Rather, it’s because a majority of the Board are full-blown creationists. Another excerpt:

“I hope to bring a different point of view and bring respect back into the discussions,” Bohmfalk said Thursday. “I would like to bring peace to the board and get the two sides talking to one another.”

This strikes us as pure blather. He’s either a creationist or he’s not. Which is it? One last excerpt:

He also supports girls-only math classes.

What is going on in Texas?

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13 responses to “Texas Board of Education: Ken Mercer’s Seat

  1. He [Robert Pronounce-His-Surname-with-Great Care]also supports girls-only math classes.

    Probably because one can thereby teach, without protests from the guys, the TRVTH about how long are 6 inches…

  2. He also supports girls-only math classes.


    4 oz flour
    2 oz sugar
    2 oz butter
    0 boys

    = 1 Cake in oven
    + 0 Buns in oven

    . . . . all the education they’ll need, Bubba.

  3. PS: Forgot the 2 eggs, but better not tell them about all that stuff.

  4. Amadan’s recipe

    …forgot the 2 eggs, but better not tell them about all that stuff

    No doubt. But in any event, the recipe as offered should produce a serviceable Scottish shortbread.

    Och aye the noo, laddies!

  5. HMMM Saying a lot of nothing, and this separate for girls could be good, could be bad. Wish he expanded on that. Almost all recent studies of 11 to 14 year old pupils say that boys actually hold girls back in maths and science, and they get far better results when you take the boys out. So if it for that reason it is fine. Though I am far more concerned about the other possible reason. That it more a fundie position that poor little girls can not do that hard math and science stuff so you should go more easy on them. Meaning he far more likely to be a creationist.

  6. Amadan says: “Forgot the 2 eggs, but better not tell them about all that stuff.”

    Definitely no sausage.

  7. Flakey says: “… they get far better results when you take the boys out.”

    And for a few brief shining moments, it holds down the rate of teen pregnancy. It’s a win-win situation.

  8. Pretty typical politico speech. Lots of feel good, no substance stuff. Sigh. Why do future textbooks (and hence education) for the country depend on Texas of all places? (and yes I do know why. This is a rhetorical question…)

  9. Alb the question isn’t entirely rhetorical. I’ve often wondered why counties throughout the northeast don’t band together to make one giant order. I’m not saying that the districts of (e.g.) NY should give up their individual authority to decide which textbooks to order and go to a State system. But I suspect that most of them independently arrive at very similar textbook choices, year after year. And those choices won’t be too different from Connetticutt, Rhode Island, New Jersey, etc… So, if you’re going to use the same textbooks anyway, why not leverage that to get more influence on what goes in them?

  10. I will resist name-calling, since my own name has its challenges. I would say, however, that the other three candidates are not conducting campaigns as rigorous as my own. I have seen them at only one or two of the hundreds of events I have attended since I began campaigning. Based on the seriousness of my campaign and my views, I would recommend support for my campaign. Please visit my website for further information.

  11. I donno, Rebecca. Daniel Boone killed him a ba’r when he was only three. You’ve got your work cut out for you.

    Ooops! That was Davy Crockett. Things may not be as bad as I thought.

  12. Robert Bohmfalk

    I believe in evolution. I see no conflict between Christianity and evolution. Once when I testified before the Texas State Board of Education I told the story of a conversation man had with God. Man asked, “God, is it true that to you a second is the same as a million years?” God said “Yes”. Man asked, “God is it true that to you a penny is the same as a million dollars?” God said “Yes”. Than man asked, “God, can I have a million dollars?” And God said “Just a second”. (by the way, the last part of my last name sounds like “walk” or “talk”)

  13. Robert Bohmfalk says:

    (by the way, the last part of my last name sounds like “walk” or “talk”)

    That’s what I figured, but … well, I was just trying to be funny, and that doesn’t always work out. I really appreciate your dropping in. Good luck in the race. Mercer’s gotta go.