Monday, February 16, 2009

Editorial on the Texas State Board of Education

The Houston Chronicle has an editorial in their Outlook section by State Senator Rodney Ellis and State Representative Patrick Rose on the State Board of Education and the continuing efforts of some of the members to push both creationism and ID. They write:

Last session, the Legislature committed to investing $3 billion over the next 10 years in making Texas the global leader in cancer research and finding cures. This historic investment is certain to bring economic and academic opportunities to our state.

Sadly, even as our state takes one step forward, the SBOE moves us two steps back by continuing to support a diminished standard or science education. Texas’ credibility and its investment in research and technology are placed at risk by these ongoing, unproductive debates.

This is a critical issue and a critical time. Study after study has demonstrated that states which do well in science education have the brightest long-term economic future. According to Gov. Rick Perry’s Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness, despite improved scores in math and reading, Texas’ students continue to lag alarmingly behind other states in science proficiency.

It probably doesn't help that the same Rick Perry, who isn't listening to his committee, just recently reappointed the manifestly unqualified dentist Don McLeroy as head of the SBOE. Here is something hopeful:

To ensure that the SBOE works as it should, we have filed legislation to place the board under periodic review by the Sunset Advisory Commission and hold them accountable for their performance, just as we do the Texas Education Agency and other state agencies.

Not a moment too soon.

1 comment:

  1. Study after study has demonstrated that states which do well in science education have the brightest long-term economic future.

    I'd file that under "correlation does not equal causation." Undoubtedly states with good science education generally have lots of things going for them that have nothing to do with the quality of the science education: higher per-capita income, better infrastructure, more capital investment, etc.

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