UPDATE: Apparently, someone was embarrassed that we were highlighting Barbara Cargill's comments at a Texas Eagle Forum event last week. YouTube videos of those comments have now been made private. No matter. We already have those comments and the videos. We'll have more from Cargill's talk -- this time her troubling comments about the coming of adoption of science instructional materials -- shortly. NEWER UPDATE: The videos are again available below. *** Newly appointed Texas State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill's talk before Texas Eagle Forum activists on Thursday in Conroe (near Houston) offered more evidence that she and her board allies are more interested in promoting political agendas than ensuring that kids get a sound education in their public school classrooms. Consider, for example, this comment about people she has appointed to help revise math curriculum standards this summer: "I have many nominees from District 8 who are there to represent us and our conservative voices." [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTh1hpUjcdM&w=400&h=330] Represent "conservative voices"? In writing math curriculum standards? We were unaware that the Pythagorean theorem or equations like "2+2=4" have conservative and liberal perspectives. Then again, Cargill is the same board member who screened applicants to…… Read More

UPDATE: Apparently, someone was embarrassed that we were highlighting Barbara Cargill’s comments at a Texas Eagle Forum event last week. YouTube videos of those comments have now been made private. No matter. We already have those comments and the videos. We’ll have more from Cargill’s talk — this time her troubling comments about the coming of adoption of science instructional materials — shortly.

NEWER UPDATE: The video linked in the post is available again.

***

Well, this sure didn’t take long. Last Tuesday the San Antonio Express-News quoted newly appointed Texas State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill as saying that she would “facilitate the meetings with a lot of character and a listening ear because we all represent our various districts, so we certainly want to hear from every board member on the issues.” Then just two days later she questioned the faith and politics of fellow board members whose views are different from her own.

Speaking Thursday night at a Texas Eagle Forum event in Conroe, this is how Cargill, R-The Woodlands, described the faction of board members with whom she votes in lockstep:

“Right now there are six true… Read More

Two weeks from today the Texas State Board of Education will meet to consider and take a pivotal vote on science instructional materials that could be in school classrooms as early as this fall. It will also be the first meeting with Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, serving as board chair. Cargill, part of the SBOE's hyper-partisan far-right bloc that has put politics ahead of education, is no friend of science. At least not a friend of sound science that is settled and based in fact. Cargill has repeatedly cast votes that would result in genuine harm to science education in Texas. So as the board prepares to take a critical vote on science education, and as Cargill begins her term at the SBOE helm, let's review the new chairwoman's stance on science education in and outside the SBOE. What follows is a summary of Cargill's attacks on established science and her willingness to use the SBOE as a vehicle to impose her personal ideology on Texas children, to the detriment of sound science education. Read More

Gov. Rick Perry announces his choice for SBOE chair — Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands.

TFN just released the following statement:

GOV. PERRY PUTS POLITICS AHEAD OF EDUCATION BY APPOINTING CARGILL AS SBOE CHAIR

Governor’s Third Appointment of Board ‘Culture Warrior’ Ensures Continuing Political Battles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 1, 2011

The Texas Freedom Network is releasing the following statement from TFN Communications Director Dan Quinn regarding Gov. Rick Perry’s appointment of Barbara Cargill as chair of the State Board of Education. Cargill is the third member of the state board’s faction of social conservatives who Gov. Perry has chosen to chair the board. The governor’s two previous appointees, Don McLeroy and Gail Lowe, failed to gain Senate confirmation because of their repeated efforts to drag Texas public schools into the nation’s divisive culture wars. Quinn said:

“Strike three for Gov. Perry. Once again, he is putting politics ahead of the education of Texas students by installing an ideologue in the chairman’s seat. Just like the governor’s two previous appointees as chair, Ms. Cargill has worked since her election to the board to promote her own personal beliefs rather than facts and sound scholarship in our kids’ classrooms. In… Read More

The Texas Education Agency just released the full list of members serving on the science review panels that will evaluate instructional materials submitted for approval by the State Board of Education (SBOE). As TFN predicted earlier this spring, the review panel for biology includes a number of individuals with a history of promoting intelligent design/creationism or advocating the teaching of phony "weaknesses" of evolution in science classes. Last month the Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education identified proposed materials from one vendor, New Mexico-based International Databases, that promote intelligent design/creationism as real science. Now evolution deniers on the review teams will likely use their positions as a podium to promote the same flawed arguments. Read TFN's press release here. A preliminary analysis by TFN of the biology review panel identified at least three anti-evolution activists:…… Read More