Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shades of Kristin Macguire

What is it about South Carolina?  Remember Kristin Macguire, the homeschooler Mom who ended up heading the State School Board briefly a few years back.  During her tenure, she caused extra expense by bringing in a couple of Young Earth Creationists to question the already selected science textbook.  Yes, the selection process had been followed, decisions were already made and, at the last minute, the incoming school board president, Macguire, brings in a couple of ringers to push her personal religious belief on the students of South Carolina.  That time sanity prevailed and the already selected textbooks were voting in after a number reviews and public testimony and additional time and expense.  I guess every school board has time and money to burn, right?

Well history is sorta repeating itself.  In this article "S.C. Education Department out of the loop in writing of new evolution standard" in the Post and Courier, things are still not kosher in SC.  While the headline tells the story, it's not the whole story.  Apparently in an effort to deal with some of the contentious issues around getting a new science standard approved, a new 'compromise' standard was drafted.  Guess who wasn't involved . . .but more interesting guess who was?  Obviously the Education Department, whose job it is to draft standards, was not involved.  However, a certain organization from the Northwest had inside knowledge of the process and was invited by . . . guess who to play?  You got it, Mike Fair -- yes, that Mike Fair -- he invited the Discovery Institute.  They presented to the group drafting the new standard.

Why am I saying history is repeating itself?  Well just like Kristin, certain players ignore the rules and push a personal religious agenda.  One of the Board members himself didn't know this re-drafting was going on.  That's right the group whose job it is to write the standards and at least one of the people who approve such standards were out of the loop!  Once again South Carolina violated their own rules and procedures for the express purpose of trying to weaken science education.  This time they invited the DI, an organization dedicated to doing just that. Anyone else see a problem here?

Let's hope sanity once again breaks out and this 'compromise' standard goes the way of the dodo.  Is it too much to hope that Mike Fair's political career goes the same way?

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