Breaking: McLeroy Nomination Moves!

UPDATE: Click here to see video of the committee vote.

In a surprise meeting on the Senate floor, the Senate Nominations Committee in Austin has just approved the appointment of Don McLeroy as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. It appears that McLeroy’s supporters plan to bring his confirmation to the full Senate early next week. Confirmation will require a two-thirds vote.

Committee Chairman Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, had said he would not bring up McLeroy’s confirmation for a vote in committee unless he thought there were enough votes to get it in the full Senate. We don’t know at this point whether opposition from nearly all Democrats and some Republicans has softened, but the signs are alarming.

If you haven’t done so already, it’s critical that you contact your senator and tell him or her that you oppose McLeroy’s confirmation. You can find the name and contact information for your senator here.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has released the following statement:

“If the Texas Senate genuinely cares about quality public education, they will reject as state board chairman a man who apparently agrees that parents who want to teach their kids about evolution are monsters. And we’ll see whether senators really want a chairman who presides over a board that is so focused on ‘culture war’ battles that it has made Texas look like an educational backwater to the rest of the country.”

Gov. Perry appointed McLeroy board chairman in July 2007. Since then, the board has turned debates over language arts and science curriculum standards in “culture war” battlegrounds. Chairman McLeroy has also endorsed a book that says parents who want to teach children about evolution are “monsters” and calls clergy who see no conflict between faith and science “morons.” This spring McLeroy led other creationists on the state board in adopting new science curriculum standards that call the scientific consensus on evolution into question and no longer include references to scientific estimates of the age of the universe.

15 thoughts on “Breaking: McLeroy Nomination Moves!

  1. I’m not a Texas resident so I can’t help directly but it’s time for Texas residents to make some noise and get out there and demonstrate for reason and science.

  2. That appears to be the problem. The fundamentalists are organized and energized, while the mainstream types are not. TFN has a great network, but it’s not enough. We need groups organizing under multiple umbrellas, but even the Science Teachers Association of Texas did next to nothing. (They originally proposed new science standards but otherwise stayed out of the politics.)

  3. Yeah. It sounds pretty hopeless to me. Texas has gone to the dogs. Maybe I need to find another blog to write my long tomes that no one reads.

  4. As long as there are no perceived political consequences to the Governor, legislators, or McLeroys, things will quietly go on behind the scenes to get what they want.

    It’s going to take organization, broad-based effort, effective publicity, and money to effectively counter them.

  5. Texas, would you kindly get it over with and secede already? What a bunch of morons!

  6. With respect to the Senate, I wonder what kind of deal (with the devil) they cut with each other to get this to the floor for a vote.

    Strange things happen at the end of legislative sessions. Someone owes someone else a big favor. Unfortunately that is how things work. Politicians will sell their souls for a vote or a donation.

    I wonder who paid who off and what they got in return.

  7. Be afraid, be very afraid
    By LISA FALKENBERG Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
    May 20, 2009, 9:17PM

    Critical thinking is gobbledy-gook. Public education is tyrannical and unconstitutional. Darwin was wrong and somebody’s gotta stand up to those menacing scientific experts!

    If you agree or at least feel comfortable with the above statements that have come from various Texas State Board of Education members in the past year, then fear not.

    The Texas Legislature apparently has your back, and that of the far-right voting bloc of the SBOE as well.

    [PHarvey posted this great column from the Houston Chronicle today. Because of copyright restrictions, we can’t post the whole piece. But you can read it here. – TFN]

  8. Depressing and embarrassing for every person who has logged any time in a Texas classroom.
    The confirmation of Don McLeroy as chairman of the SBOE should be denied by the Texas Senate.
    The only knowledge he might convey with any convincing expertise is about brushing and flossing.

  9. Hutchinson’s supporters would do well to line up behind ousting McLeroy. A vote against McLeroy would slap down Perry far more than tacitly dropping his nomination would, but only if Republicans vote with the Democrats.

  10. I think the whole lda hype about being the ‘missing link’ has helped McLeroy and those of us who believe in critical thinking not the end justifies the means…