Texas State Board of Education

Over the past year or so, we folks in Texas have been carrying our share of the effort to provide quality textbooks for the nation. This is because Texas buys more textbooks (more of everything, right?) and so the publishers listen to what we want to have in the text books. It sometimes feels like they listen more to the State Board of Education than to the people who write the books. I mean the scientist who writes the book about science — not the editors who change what he wrote.

An upcoming article in the New York Times explains this odd situation rather well. Our State Board spent most of last year in an effort to determine whether or not we would teach religious creationism in our K-12 science classes. I recommend you read this article, no matter where is your school system, because our State Board has a big effect on what will or more likely what will not be in your textbooks. Real science? Or not?

Our responsibility to education is to elect members of the school board who are more dedicated to effective teaching than to the promotion of personal religious bias. If we want to be and train effective parents, voters, citizens, we need learn how to use both science and the wisdom disciplines, each in its proper place, so that we can get the maximum benefits from both. Our students will not be prepared for the world we are leaving them if we fail to teach them how to use the scientific method, or if we muddy up that teaching by introducing a different skill set that should be taught in the philosophy classroom. The same principle is true of other disciplines.

Below are the two candidates most closely involved with the current school board election (yes we elect them, no qualifications required). On the left is Mr. McLeroy, on the right Mr. Ratliff, the back on the far right is Teddy. This was taken during the debate at KEOS, Bryan, Texas. The debate will be uploaded to the KEOS web site ASAP.