Texas SBOE: Editorial on McLeroy v. Ratliff


The last time we wrote about this contest was here: McLeroy v. Thomas Ratliff: 04 Nov ‘09. As you know, Don McLeroy is the creationist dentist whose appointment as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education (BOE) recently failed to win confirmation in the state senate. McLeroy is being challenged in the Republican primary by Thomas Ratliff, the son of former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff. As we said then:

We’re recommending Ratliff. That’s partly because we think McLeroy is as batty as the Time Cube guy. But Ratliff’s campaign website gives us positive reasons to support him, especially the section on Creation vs. Evolution.

The Curmudgeon’s approval is one thing, endorsement by a major Texas newspaper is another. Therefore, we are pleased to see that the Dallas Morning News has this editorial: We recommend Ratliff for SBOE District 9. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

We recommend Thomas Ratliff over incumbent Don McLeroy in the Republican primary for the State Board of Education’s District 9 for several reasons. Most important is the fact that the Mount Pleasant resident could move this board beyond its culture-war conflicts.

Good for them. Let’s read on:

Unfortunately, since being appointed as chairman in 2007, the 63-year-old McLeroy has helped lead the board into skirmishes involving evolution, reading standards and social studies content. The panel even got bogged down debating hip-hop versus country music. The rancor grew so routine that the Texas Senate last year refused to confirm the Bryan dentist as chairman.

The editorial doesn’t specifically discuss McLeroy’s creationism or his theocratic fantasy version of American history, but they say of Ratliff:

He’s not an ideological brawler and could develop consensus.


Setting standards is a key function of this board, and Ratliff, 42, would be more in touch with educators than McLeroy.

The editorial concludes:

The winner of this primary will be unopposed in the November election. Voters in this district, which runs through parts of East Texas and Collin County, would benefit from Ratliff’s sensible style and approach.

Primary election day is 02 March. Stay tuned to this blog.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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