Lonestar Leadership: New Texas Ed. Chair

Originally published on The Quick and The Ed.

mcleroy.jpgTexas Governor Rick Perry named the new chairman of the State Board of Education yesterday.  Perry chose Don McLeroy, a staunch conservative dentist known for his strong views on curriculum:  yes to abstinence, no to evolution.

I could tell you more about McLeroy, but you should take a look at his surprisingly candid website.  In case you’re short on time, or in case a wise bureaucrat gently suggests that McLeroy take down the site, I’ll describe a few highlights.

In an essay on standards and state tests, McLeroy dismisses state authority in education, the same authority he will now oversee.  “Not only has the rise of the State led to mediocrity in our schools, it has provided a base for monopolistic education ideas, views, and fads to gain a dogmatic hold over our entire State.  It has stifled diversity, a trait that is so necessary in all fields of endeavor.”

In a barely-coherent polemic on evolution, McLeroy lists 117 arguments against Darwin’s theory.  Don’t ask me what he means by #115, “[Evolution] moves to fast to see; moves to slow to see.”

In “The Gift of Midievil Christendom to the World,” McLeroy argues that “Freedom… is never found in the ancient world… It is never found in the rest of the modern world.  Freedom is unique to the areas of the world that have been touched by Christianity.”

As Chairman, McLeroy will have several important duties.  In coming years, the nation’s second most populous state will create new curriculum standards in English, reading, writing, and science.  McLeroy will appoint committees and chairs while setting the agenda for each board meeting.  His role may be especially important due to the split composition of the board:  seven firm social conservatives and eight moderate republicans and democrats.

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