Texas State School Board Choices: Nov 2010

We found two Texas editorials that are of interest regarding the upcoming elections for the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE).

In the Austin American-Statesman we read Farney, Bell-Metereau for State Board of Education. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Jan. 1, 2011, can’t come quickly enough. Not only is it the first day of the new year, but it also will be the day when the State Board of Education finally sheds members Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy, the most strident voices of a board faction more interested in ideology than education.

We can certainly agree with that! Continuing:

Losing those two won’t be a total cure for what ails the 15-member board, but it will start the healing. If Ken Mercer of San Antonio loses his race with Rebecca Bell-Metereau of San Marcos, so much the better.

Absolutely right! See our earlier post on this: Beauty & the Beast. Let’s read on:

Republican Marsha Farney of Georgetown and Judy Jennings, an Austin Democrat, are competing to succeed Dunbar in representing the SBOE’s District 10 …

[…]

We’re recommending Farney, 51, in an extremely close call.

Either Farney or Jennings will be an immense improvement over Dunbar. The Austin American-Statesman hasn’t made a bad choice, although we’re not quite sure about this one. See: Marsha Farney or Judy Jennings?

We now turn to the San Antonio Express-News, in which we read SBOE could use some educators. They say:

In recent years, an extremist faction on the education board has managed to politicize the curriculum and bring disrepute to the state’s educational system.

[…]

Fortunately for Texas, the defeat of board members Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, and Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, one of the longest serving members of the board, in the Republican primary means the state board will have a different look and tone in January. But more change is needed.

McLeroy is the creationist dentist whose thinking is right out of the Dark Ages. As for Miller, she was one of the sane Republicans on the SBOE (along with Patricia Hardy and Bob Craig). It’s perverse for the San Antonio Express-News editors to mention her defeat in the same sentence as McLeroy’s — a sentence that begins with the word “fortunately.” We’ve seen blind partisanship before, but rarely as raw as that.

But then they seem to recover themselves, or at least they take a position with which we agree:

We strongly recommend the election of Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau, of Austin, a former Fulbright scholar and professor at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Fine. We like Rebecca. Then they turn their attention to District 3, the seat now held by retiring Rick Agosto, who frequently supported McLeroy’s positions. Here’s what they say:

We recommend the election of Democrat Michael Soto, a Harvard-educated Trinity University professor … .

[…]

The Republican contender in this race is Tony Cunningham, who is unemployed and has received Supplemental Security Income for more than 20 years. On his candidate filing form he lists his occupation as a politician. His previous jobs have been at a bicycle shop, in security and sales.

We haven’t heard much about Cunningham before. Assuming what we’ve just read is accurate — a big assumption considering this editorial’s attitude about Geraldine Miller — Soto seems like the better choice.

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

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One response to “Texas State School Board Choices: Nov 2010

  1. Thanks…

    Almost no one in Texas is really covering this. It’s like everyone wants it swept under the rug.