Sunday, December 02, 2007

TEA Science Curriculum Director Fired Over ID

In the latest skirmish over the teaching of intelligent design, the Texas Education Agency is making national news for forcing its science curriculum director, Chris Comer, to resign or be fired. Her crime? Sending an email suggesting that members might be interested in hearing a speaker who testified against intelligent design in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover School Board trial.

I thought that you might like to know that Barbara Forrest will be speaking on “Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse” in Austin on November 2, 2007. Her talk, sponsored by the Center for Inquiry Austin, begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Monarch Event Center, Suite 3100, 6406 North IH-35 in Austin. The cost is $6; free to friends of the Center.

In her talk, Forrest will provide a detailed report on her expert testimony in the Kitzmiller v. Dover School Board trial as well as an overview of the history of the “intelligent design” movement. Forrest is a Professor of Philosophy in the Department of History and Political Science at Southeastern Louisiana University; she is also a member of NCSE’s board of directors.

God forbid anyone responsible for the design of the state science curriculum should actually be exposed to both sides of the debate over intelligent design. Actually, as far as science goes, there is no debate, which was really the whole point of the Dover trial.

PBS' Nova covered the trial in a recent documentary. In the Dover trial, Republican Judge John Jones, a Bush appointee, ruled that teaching intelligent design equated to teaching creationism. And the Supreme Court had previously ruled out teaching creationism in public schools because it was religion, not science.

So who was responsible for this latest act of politicization of Texas education?
The call to fire Comer came from Lizzette Reynolds, who previously worked in the U.S. Department of Education. She also served as deputy legislative director for Gov. George W. Bush. She joined the Texas Education Agency as the senior adviser on statewide initiatives in January.
Looks like the TEA is doing a little housecleaning in anticipation of the battle over the science curriculum coming up next year.
Comer's resignation comes just months before the State Board of Education is to begin reviewing the science portion of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the statewide curriculum that will be used to determine what should be taught in Texas classrooms and what textbooks are bought.
East Lemming Liberal News has a nice summary of the coverage being given this issue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reynolds is also an evangelical Christian, and the president of the curriculum board is a Baptist minister. Things don't look good for Texas children.