The NY Times covers the Chris Comer resignationtoday. This story is a wonderful window into the events transpiring within the Texas Education Agency — they are gearing up to shut down biology education in the whole damn state. And why now?
The standards, adopted in 1998, are due for a 10-year review and possible revision after the 15-member elected State Board of Education meets in February, with particular ramifications for the multibillion-dollar textbook industry. The chairman of the panel, Dr. Don McLeroy, a dentist and Sunday School teacher at Grace Bible Church in College Station, has lectured favorably in the past about intelligent design.
There’s a major standards review coming up, and the guy running the show is a bible-thumping clown of a dentist. Note the hint of the wider ramifications: Texas is a huge textbook market, and what goes down in Texas affects what publishers put in books that are marketed nationwide. It is time to start thinking about ending Texas’s influence. If you’re a teacher, a school board member, or an involved parent, and if you get an opportunity to evaluate textbooks for your local schools, look carefully at your biology offerings. If you’re reviewing a textbook and discover that it has been approved for use in Texas, then strike it from your list. It’s too dumb and watered down for your kids.
Let’s hit the publishers where it hurts. Tailoring their books for the Texas market should cut them out of the national market.
Other news to keep your eyes open for today: the Discovery Institute will be having a press conference in Iowa in a few hours. They claim to have juicy revelations in the Guillermo Gonzalez case; I suspect it will be something along the lines of someone on the tenure review committee called Intelligent Design creationism a mean name in an email somewhere. Anyway, we may hear more from either Tara or an Evil Monkey later today.
The creationist blogs will probably be full of indignant outrage over the Gonzalez case for a while, but don’t expect a whisper from them on the Comer case.