Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New Trustee Will Not Push Creationism, She Says

Katherine Leal Unmuth of the The Dallas Morning News has a news story on a new Irving school district trustee who claims to be a creationist but who is more reticent about expressing her views:
New Irving school board trustee Heather Ashley says that she is a creationist and supports the teaching of intelligent design – though she knows she can't have any impact at the local level on the teaching of evolution.

"I am not going to, as a school board member, set curriculum that teaches only one point of view," she said. "I think we should have the possibility of teachers exposing students to different perspectives, which should include intelligent design."

That view comes at an interesting time in the evolution debate.

The state Senate rejected Republican Don McLeroy's nomination to chairman of the State Board of Education recently after Democrats said he lacked leadership while serving as chairman in the "endless culture wars" over teaching evolution. He's a critic of evolution.

She appears to have been reading the literature of the DI, with regard to the "alternative views" language. It is clear, based on other opinions, that she has an uphill battle ahead of her:
René Castilla, chairman of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce education committee, which has been critical of the Irving school board in the past, said he hopes that Ashley understands that the state curriculum calls for teaching just evolution.

"As long as she understands she's not going to be in any position to make a difference, that's fine," said Castilla, a North Lake College dean and a former DISD board president. "She's got a lot to learn. She's probably going to learn it's going to be hard to impose her religious views in a public school system."
That this would show up as a story in the Dallas Morning News shows that Texas continues to be a lightning rod for this issue.

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