We just got back from the Texas Senate Nominations Committee hearing on Barbara Cargill’s reappointment to another term as chair of the State Board of Education. We’ll have much more soon — including some alarming comments about science from both Cargill and at least one member of the Senate committee. Meanwhile, here’s the press release we just sent out.
SBOE CHAIR’S SCIENCE COMMENTS AT HEARING HIGHLIGHT CONCERNS OVER HER APPOINTMENT
Cargill Claims to Oppose Teaching Creationism in Science Classrooms But Favors Creationist Arguments in Textbooks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2013
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller had this to say following today’s Senate Nominations Committee hearing on the reappointment of Barbara Cargill to another term as chair of the State Board of Education:
“The issue before the Senate is not Ms. Cargill’s religion. It’s whether the state board will be headed by someone who puts her own personal beliefs ahead of giving Texas children a 21st-century education. We simply can’t support the confirmation of a board chair who claims that she opposes teaching creationism in science classrooms but then insists, as she did again today, that textbooks include anti-evolution arguments that only creationists make and that scientists have repeatedly debunked.”
The Texas Senate hasn’t confirmed a chair of the State Board of Education since 2005. The tenures of the two most recent chairs, Don McLeroy and Gail Lowe, were so controversial that they failed to earn Senate confirmation.
This year the State Board of Education will consider the adoption of new textbooks for science, traditionally one of the board’s most controversial topics. Those new textbooks could be in public school classrooms for nearly a decade beginning in 2014. The board will consider new social studies textbooks next year.
A briefing paper on Cargill’s record is available at www.tfn.org/cargillfactsheet.
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan public education and religious liberties watchdog based in Austin.