Tag Archives: School Board

Texans have a chance to repent

Next time I get down on you slack-jawed yokels in Texas, which could be any time, I don’t want to hear any flack. No excuses. You can take my critique in the gut and live with it OR you can tell me to stuff it. But the latter is only an option if you get off your bovine Texas asses and do what you need to do.

State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, faced searing questioning during his uncommonly long confirmation hearing Wednesday at the Senate Nominations Committee.

And Chairman Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, said McLeroy’s nomination is on shaky ground because he might not be able to get the required two-thirds vote from the Senate.

Democratic senators Kirk Watson of Austin and Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso challenged McLeroy over his leadership during a number of controversial Board of Education decisions, including the recent adoption of new science curriculum standards that critics say undermine the teaching of evolution.

Shapleigh said he plans to have McLeroy separated from the others when his nomination comes up on the Senate floor so that it could be debated and voted on individually.

“You’ve created a hornet’s nest like I’ve never seen,” Shapleigh said, noting that 15 bills – “the most I’ve ever seen” – have been filed during this legislative session to strip various powers from the State Board of Education.


Texans, call or email your Senator now! Put the pressure on! Get this guy out of there!

And then, you can hang your head high and ride into town on that longhorn of yours with pride.

HT: Pharyngula

Minnetonka School Board Elections

Bill Wenmark, a member of the Minnetonka School Board who supports the teaching of Intelligent Design in High School Cirriculum was ousted in yesterday’s election.Bill sent me an email that included a note to his constituents, and he and I have been discussing the possibility of me posting it here. Now that the election is over, I doubt that will materialize. In any event, he sent me the email to clarify his position on ID, and I’ll pass my interpretation of that on to you. He can certainly add comments to this if he feels more clarification is in order.My understanding is that Bill Wenmark’s position is no longer to see ID taught in the biology classroom. Good idea. The earlier efforts to do so led to great difficulty. A school board that insists on this strategy is opening their district … over which they have stewardship … to serious and expensive legal difficulties.Mr. Wenmark does, however, believe that ID should be taught as a current social controversy in social studies. This is something that I deeply disagree with. This is a little like saying that social studies must cover the “bigfoot exists” vs. the “bigfoot is fake” controversy, even if it is not covered in biology classes.Yes, it is a current social controversy of more import than the Bigfoot issue. So it could be taught in social studies, but it should not in any way be required. In this way, as well, I disagree with the National Council for the Social Studies, who suggest that this controversy can and maybe should be taught in the schools (in Social Studies) and suggest ways to do it.As I wrote about here, this is simply leaving an opening for the Wedge Strategy of the Intelligent Design movement.