The Senate Nominations Committee considers the appointment of Don McLeroy as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education today, probably late this afternoon or early evening. Here are some questions we would love to see members of the committee ask Chairman McLeroy.
1. Please explain why you think, as you have been quoted saying, “scientific consensus means nothing.”
2. You have been quoted saying, “I disagree with all these experts. Somebody has to stand up to these experts.” Do you think you understand science better than scientists? Better than the Nobel laureates who addressed their concerns about the board’s action?
3. Earlier this year, you endorsed a new book, Sowing Atheism: The National Academy of Sciences’ Sinister Scheme to Teach Our Children They’re Descended from Reptiles, by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. Do you agree, as the book’s author argues, that all scientists are atheists, parents who want to teach their children about evolution are monsters and clergy who believe there is no conflict between faith and science are morons?
4. During the recent adoption of new science curriculum standards, why did you refuse to allow science experts to review and advise the full board about the wisdom (or lack thereof) of amendments that challenged the broad, mainstream scientific consensus on evolution, global warming and the age of the universe?
5. Do you think challenging established, mainstream science in Texas public school classrooms will help or hurt the ability of Texas to attract science-related industries that would bring high-paying jobs to this state? If not, why not? Will it help or hurt the ability of children to get admitted into and succeed in the nation’s best colleges and universities? If no, why not?
6. Why did you vote last year for a language arts standards document that your board allies patched together the night before the board’s final vote and then slipped under hotel room doors of other board members? Why did you vote to throw out nearly three years of work by teachers and education specialists?
We wonder what Chairman McLeroy’s answers to these questions might be. Do you? What questions would you like senators to ask?