We just got word that Senate Nominations Committee Chairman Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, has given a 24-hour notice on the confirmation of Don McLeroy as Texas State Board of Education chairman. That means we could finally see the long-awaited debate and vote on McLeroy’s controversial appointment Thursday afternoon.
So we decided to offer another example of McLeroy’s contempt for experts and educators. You will recall that McLeroy voted in 2008 to throw out nearly three years of work by teachers and curriculum specialists on new language arts standards. Teachers were appalled, but the esteemed dentist had his own ideas about how to teach students to read and write.
The House Public Education Committee then called a hearing to discuss what in the world was going on with the state board. McLeroy testified at the July 2008 hearing and offered a variety of explanations, including this rather odd one:
A lot of the teachers during public testimony that we had during the public hearings was overwhelming for the workgroup document. I mean, 99 percent of the time, I think. . . . We got a lot of input from teachers. The ones that were the most vocal, by far, I would say ninety, like I say, 99 percent were, uh, I was opposed to.
(July 16, 2008, approx. 35:30 mark)
And so he voted against all those teachers. Not only that, he backed a document that was patched together overnight by his board cronies and slipped under hotel doors just an hour before the final vote. And what of the teachers who actually work in the classroom? Who cares, right?
This is yet another of the many examples of why McLeroy’s tenure as chairman has been a disaster for public education in Texas. And it’s another example of why the Texas Senate should reject his confirmation as chairman.
Please ask your senator to vote against McLeroy’s confirmation. Click here to find the name and contact information for your senator.