It looks likely that Gail Lowe, who presided over the Texas State Board of Education‘s social studies curriculum debacle last year, has only days left in her tenure as board chair. From the Houston Chronicle:
Gov. Rick Perry’s appointments of John Bradley as head of the Forensic Science Commission and Gaile Lowe as State Board of Education chair are officially toast, Senate Nominations Chairman Bob Deuell, R-Greenville said.
“They’re sine die with the rest of us — except they won’t have to come back for a special session,” Deuell said Wednesday after submitting his last round of Perry appointees for Senate consideration.
That’s two strikes for Gov. Perry, whose last two appointments to chair the state board have been so politically extreme that the Senate has refused to confirm them. The governor appointed Lowe in 2009 to replace his previous appointee, Don McLeroy, R-College Station. McLeroy failed to win Senate confirmation as board chair after he led efforts to dumb down the public school science curriculum with anti-evolution dogma.
Supporters of Lowe and McLeroy claim that the two have been victims of Senate politics. That’s nonsense, of course. Truth is, both have been victims of their own obsession with pushing personal and political agendas in public school classrooms.
Barring an unlikely, last-minute Senate reprieve for Lowe, Gov. Perry must appoint a new chair. Will that be a third strike? Or will he finally appoint someone who puts the education of Texas schoolchildren ahead of politics? It’s possible that we won’t know the answer to that until July, when the state board is scheduled to meet next.