Texas Education

Blog on Texas Education

SBOE heats up again

Posted by Texas Education on July 15, 2008

Teachers: Keep religion, science separate as noted in theeagle.com report:

As state officials prepared to examine the way science is taught in Texas classrooms, area teachers said this week that teaching the weaknesses of the theory of evolution should be part of the curriculum — but not if it means teaching religion.

The State Board of Education is to meet this week to discuss revising the science curriculum. Whether to teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories has been a topic of debate for months.

Opponents call the phrase an underhanded way for creationists to cast doubt on evolution.

Don McLeroy, a creationist and the chairman of the state board, said he would make it a priority to keep the phrase in the state science curriculum.

What is scary to me, and I’m not alone on this, is McLeroy, his own website screams conservative ism!

A Little Clear Thinking About Texas Public Schools
A Conservative Look Inside the Texas Public School System
Don McLeroy, Member, Texas State Board of Education

He sure has a crappy website, I hate frames! More from theeagle.com on McLeroy. Man, this guy is scary to the nth degree. Some of his scarier “quotes:”

He says he looks to the Bible, which he sees as inerrant and therefore a plumb line for all decisions in life.

“I just love the Bible. I love studying the Bible,” said McLeroy, who has taught Sunday school at Grace Bible Church for the past 22 years. “It definitely impacts my whole outlook. It impacts all of my life.”

He says the Bible impacts his whole outlook, but then he also says,

McLeroy and his faith in God are inseparable, he said, but he arrives at his beliefs about education through careful thought and study.

McLeroy acknowledges that he arrived at his beliefs about education through his religion but denies that his faith is the motivation for his actions on the board.

And, he said, politics in education is not a bad thing because it creates debate, which involves more people in their children’s education.

“I’m just glad we can politicize education because if not, we’d have some bureaucrat deciding everything,” he said. “That would be much worse.”

One issue that McLeroy said would inevitably surface is a phrase that requires the teaching of “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories. Some want it removed. He’s determined to keep it in.

McLeroy said the “strengths and weaknesses” debate over evolution has derailed the discussion about real issues.

His religious views, he said, would not affect the decisions he makes on the science curriculum.

“It’s not based on personal beliefs,” he said. “It’s based on the evidence, not on my religious beliefs. … Science should be neutral. I think that’s the key.”

Holy crap batman! He doesn’t want some bureaucrat deciding everything. Now if that ain’t the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is.

He plans to run for re-election when his term expires because, he said, he hasn’t accomplished his main goal.

“I want public schools to be one of the best choices parents can make for their children,” he said.

He uses the word choices here, ummm, are you thinking what I’m thinking? This is where I’d like to see someone, anyone with something on the ball to go up against this guy, and pronto! Start thinking about it now, get your ducks in a row and go for it.

It just seems that if you are fighting with the teachers, something’s wrong with this picture. Who better to know what to teach then…well, teachers, eh?

More on this controversy a Commentary by Steven Schafersman, Ph.D. Texas Citizens for Science

Based on how things went recently with the English revision (not good, I must say,) looks like things are going to heat up even more with the science mess. Bradley, who is up for re-election (take note,) has some wise things to say concerning this issue:

Bradley and the board majority faulted English teachers for forcing too much of their own ideas into a proposal the board had tentatively approved two months earlier. That’s why board members had to salvage a final document with a last-hour cut and paste job, he said.

“I don’t think this will happen again because they got spanked,” Bradley said. “Science teachers should work with the board on their process and not try to do an end run around this elected body and steal the process.”

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