Don McLeroy has some explaining to do. Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka reports this revealing quote from McLeroy, a Republican seeking re-election to the Texas State Board of Education, at a recent campaign debate:
“One of the first real breaches of limited government was public education.”
What in the world? Someone who has been on the State Board of Education for a decade, who served one term as its chairman, and who sent his children to public schools now tells us he thinks public education violates the principle of limited government?
Burka rightly comments:
“This is a very strange statement to be coming from the former chairman of the board that oversees public education. Is it better to have limited government and uneducated people, or a government that considers educating the people its foremost responsibility?”
McLeroy appears to be channeling fellow far-right board member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, who argued in her 2008 book One Nation Under God that public education is unconstitutional. (She also wrote that public education is tyrannical and a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.”)
It is beyond appalling that people who are openly hostile to public education actually sit on the board overseeing the public school system in Texas. But it certainly helps explain why McLeroy, Dunbar and their allies are so contemptuous of classroom teachers and care so little about the importance of basing what public school students learn on facts and sound scholarship, not fringe ideological agendas.