Texas House Speaker Looks at Ed Board

Very interesting.

The Texas Legislature should “take a thorough look” at changing the structure of the embattled Texas State Board of Education, maybe changing it to a nonpartisan or appointed board, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus told the Star-Telegram Editorial Board Friday.

… Besides the board’s handling of science standards, Straus said, “I have some other concerns about that elected body having so much management authority over significant dollars,” referring to investments of the Permanent School Fund.

He said it would be “interesting” to look at nonpartisan board elections. Straus also brought up changing back to an appointed board.

“I’ve spoken to some people who were leaders in the effort to make it an elected board, and they’re very sorry,” he said.

State lawmakers are already considering legislation that would rein in the state board. The Texas Freedom Network is monitoring legislation on the state board and other issues here.

8 thoughts on “Texas House Speaker Looks at Ed Board

  1. He said it would be “interesting” to look at nonpartisan board elections. Straus also brought up changing back to an appointed board.

    “I’ve spoken to some people who were leaders in the effort to make it an elected board, and they’re very sorry,” he said.

    I think the nonpartisan board election idea is far superior; it would do away with the effect of automatic party-line voting, and each candidate could stand on his or her qualifications. Who would appoint the board? Gov. Perry, who re-appointed Don McLeroy as chair? No thanks.

  2. Hi everyone. I just stopped by to wish TFN and everyone here a fond goodbye. I appreciated your allowing me to post my assorted ideas, thoughts, and ramblings here. It looks as if TFN, you posting guys, real Texas scientists, and the Texas legislature can handle the work you have left to do here without me.

    Thanks Ben.

    Thanks Larry.

    Thanks jdg.

    Thanks Doc Bill.

    Thanks Rocket Mike.

    Thanks ScienceMinded.

    And if I forgot any other regulars—Many thanks to you as well.

    As I ride off into the sunset, I will leave you with some fond science memories from one of my favorite science places on the planet. Play the videos and remember me:


  3. Demagogic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas tried the same kind of power grab and got hell for it. She scapegoated the Kansas SBOE for the state’s economic problems and compared the SBOE to Fred Phelps’ “god hates fags” hate group —

    Topeka — Calling her an “elitist” and a “big-government liberal,” the state school board’s chairman on Friday criticized Gov. Kathleen Sebelius over her proposal to strip the board of its power to set education policy.

    Steve Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican who is part of the Kansas State Board of Education’s conservative majority, took the Democratic governor to task for suggesting that its adoption last year of science standards seen as anti-evolution had damaged Kansas’ economic development efforts.

    Abrams also attacked Sebelius for saying that the state has to deal with negative publicity created by the board, just as it does with the anti-gay picketing of the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. and his followers.

    “The governor owes the Kansas State Board of Education as well as the citizens of the state of Kansas an apology,” Abrams said in a statement sent by e-mail to news organizations across the state. “Personal insults from this liberal governor are the only arguments she can make due to the lack of her own accomplishments.”

    “I expect a big-government liberal like our governor to oppose conservative politics. But to infer that the State Board of Education is responsible for the lack of economic development in Kansas is laughable,” he added. . . .

    GOP gubernatorial challenger Sen. Jim Barnett, of Emporia, has said he opposes Sebelius’ proposal, arguing that the current setup makes the board accountable to voters . . . .

    Echoing criticism from Barnett, Abrams described Sebelius’ proposal as “an unadulterated power grab from the voters by an elitist.”

    “But that is typical for an elitist, thinking they know better than the voters,” Abrams said. “The governor has yet to talk about her vision for Kansas; she apparently prefers innuendo, name calling, deflection of responsibility and an attempt for a power grab.”


  4. Good luck, Charles. Thanks for bringing a reasonable Christian perspective to these conversations.

  5. At least Joe Straus is aware that there is aproblem and showing some concern, not like Perry who helped instigate the problem by appointing the cerifiiable loon, Mcleroy as chairman of the TSODE. Perry also is on record of voiceing approval
    of presenting both sides of the evolutionvs creationism issue within the science curriculum. And then there is the TEA whose creationist bias is showing when firing an employee without just cause resulting in a law suit. There is not a good solution to the fact that we have a very biased and unruley Board that wastes an inordinate amount of time and still is incapable of making the correct decisions because it wont listen to its expert advisors. Obviously the voters cant be trusted to send competent, objective members; the voters dont know diddily about the sensitive issues in trusted to the Board of education. I guess anyone who is wise enough to have a good solution to the problem up their sleeve should risk ridiculed by one side or the other and avance it to the head shed.

  6. To Charles: I think TFN is losing one of their better supporters. And BTW, I do appreciate your perspective and passion.