Sunday, September 25, 2016

Texas, Don't Take This Wrong, But You Are Sounding like South Carolina

I don't know if you remember, but back a few years ago (2007 and 2008) South Carolina elected a home-schooling conservative to head their state school board and one of the first things she [Kristin Maguire] did was violate procedure to try and reject the science textbooks already selected by the school board appointed working group.    It led to more hearing and delays as she brought in a couple of Creationists to object to well pretty much the usual stuff, mainly evolution.

So why would Texas remind me of that?  The state school board set up a panel to streamline science standards.  Even before they started work, members of the school board did their best to stack the deck with evolution-deniers -- much like Maguire did in her textbook complaint.  Even with two confirmed evolution-deniers on the panel, the panel voted to remove some of the anti-evolution rhetoric put in back in 2009 by the school board when it was headed by the creationist dentist, Don McLeroy, who made Texas a laughing stock.  Even with this preliminary vote, creationists are up in arms because of it. (Discussed in the Austin American Statesman and Pandas Thumb)

How I see the parallels:

  1. Creationists do their best to stack review panels with unqualified people (Creationism ideology more important than scientific credentials)
  2. They allow process to run until they don't like the outcome
  3. Then they get all upset and start trying to trash the whole thing.
Texas, you deserve better, but until you let your voice be heard in the ballot box, you are going to continually allow your children's education to be held hostage by Creationists who are trying to make sure your children are taught their philosophy and not actual science.  I really feel for you, each and every one.  Here is something I wrote back in 2007.  It was directed toward South Carolina, but it's just as applicable to you, Texas, today:

"My question is to the people of South Carolina? Is this the direction you want to go? Ms. Maguire and friends are re-treading the direction other states have tried and failed, sometimes in embarrassing and expensive ways. Do you want your Biology teachers teaching religion to your kids? Do you want a narrow fundamentalist Christian viewpoint from determining the contents of your textbooks? Do you want to start the process of removing science from your curriculum?" (Ms. Kristin Maguire strikes)
Well, do you?  South Carolina wound up dropping Ms Maguire for reasons unrelated to conservative and anti-science positions.  You really need to re-examine the people on your school board.  Shouldn't the number one priority be the education of your children?  I would have thought so.

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