Thursday, May 7, 2009

Texas has done something interesting

Potentially worrisome, but certainly interesting. One of the big concerns about Don McElroy's 'leadership' of the Texas State School Board was the attempt at implementing the Discovery Institute's phony 'strengths and weaknesses' ploy into the curriculum standards. He lost that argument, but did succeed in the 'critical analysis' of a number of key scientific theories. The major concern wasn't just for Texas, but since Texas is the second largest purchaser of textbooks, his Creationistic tendencies might have far-reaching impact. Other states might still get stuck with unsupportable ideas in their textbooks, simply because the textbook producers were pandering to Don's idiosyncrasies.

Well the next battle ground was going to be when Texas actually got around to purchasing textbooks, but it looks like the State is taking that power away from Don. Reported in a Lufkin Daily News Editorial "Texas Education Fund: House has passed legislation to transfer control of the Permanent School Fund to council of investment experts, and Senate should approve it and send it to voters."The move will take oversight of the $17.5 billion Permanent School Fund away form the School Board and give it to an 7 member committee. The fund is an investment fund that goes toward the purchase of textbooks and other instructional materials for Texas public schools. The committee would be made up of 2 appointees by the Governor, and one each by the lieutenant governor, the House speaker, the land commissioner and the comptroller. The seventh appointee would be named by the education board.

Now since the School Board revealed how disfunctional it is during the whole science curriculum hearings, I do see this as a slap down on McElroy and his supporters. But I would rather see action taken to remove McElroy for allowing his religious beliefs to override the duties of presiding over the School Board.

This certainly doesn't eliminate the possibility of shenanigans when the State starts selecting textbooks, but it does remove it the purse strings from McElroy's direct control. I do hope the people of Texas keeps an eye on this panel as well, to make sure the people appointed to oversee this very large fund are doing to job they were appointed to do!

Good Luck to the people of Texas!


  1. Hey, Ted. Texas HAS done something interesting--McElroy's confirmation has failed to make it out of the Senate committee, because it was clear he wouldn't pass a floor vote. My blog has details at

  2. Nice write-up. I knew McElroy had been appointed, I hadn't know it took two years before his nomination was acted upon by the Legislature. It will be interesting to see who gets the nod from the Governor.