2009 Archives

Controversial education leader under fire


The following is from the April 22, 2009, edition of The San Antonio Express-News. SMU Anthropology Professor Ron Wetherington,  one of the experts appointed to recommend new state science curriculum standards, provided expertise for this story.

April 28, 2009

By Gary Scharrer
The San Antonio Express-News

AUSTIN — Don McLeroy's controversial leadership as chairman of the State Board of Education could jeopardize his confirmation to keep the job after a rocky reception Wednesday night before the Senate Nominations Committee.

McLeroy may have trouble getting at least 21 of the 31 Senate votes needed for confirmation, Nominations Chairman Mike Jackson, R- La Porte, said.

“It's my preference, if that is going to be the case, that we don't bring him forward (to the Senate floor). There's no sense in doing that,” Jackson said.

McLeroy faced severe criticism from two committee members and several citizens who called him unfit to lead the 15-member board because of his strong religious beliefs that they said conflict with his role in shaping public education policy for 4.7 million Texas public school children. . . 

Ron Wetherington, an anthropologist at Southern Methodist University and one of the experts appointed to recommend new science curriculum standards, urged lawmakers to reject McLeroy's appointment.

Although calling McLeroy "very congenial," Weatherington said the chairman has embarrassed the state of Texas by promoting anti-science through his "personal views as a young Earth creationist."

Read the full story.

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