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Divisive Curriculum Revision Process Exposes Dysfunctional State Board of Education, TFN President Says

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2008

AUSTIN - The State Board of Education's confused, divisive and needlessly prolonged process for adopting new language arts curriculum standards has exposed how dysfunctional the education panel has become under the chairmanship of Don McLeroy, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said today.

"The state board is split between members who respect the opinions of teachers and education experts and, on the other side, Chairman McLeroy and other members who clearly don't," Miller said. "So this board is increasingly unable to complete tasks with efficiency and a respect for informed debate and expert opinion. This is not how you develop smart education policies."

The board had originally set a deadline of last fall for approving new language arts curriculum standards. Publishers will use those standards to create new textbooks for Texas public schools. The standards revision process has stretched far past that original deadline, however, as McLeroy and other social conservatives on the board insisted on adopting state reading and author lists and education strategies that teachers and many curriculum experts strongly opposed.

Another attempt by social conservatives to create a statewide list of recommended authors failed today. Afterward, the board finally adopted new language arts curriculum standards after well over two years of work.

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who advance a mainstream agenda supporting public education, religious freedom and individual liberties.

 

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