Texas Gov. Rick Perry has just appointed Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas, as chairman of the State Board of Education. Lowe will replace Don McLeroy, whose nomination as chairman the state Senate rejected in May.
In a press release announcing the appointment. Gov. Perry expressed confidence “that through her leadership, we will continue to ensure that Texans receive the educational foundation necessary to be successful in college, the workplace and beyond.”
Far-right pressure groups had been pushing for the appointment of Cynthia Dunbar, who has called public education “unconstitutional,” “tyrannical” and a “tool of perversion.”
We’ll have more soon.
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is releasing the following statement regarding Gov. Rick Perry’s appointment today of Gail Lowe as the new chair of the State Board of Education.
“It’s disappointing that instead of choosing a mainstream conservative who could heal the divisions on the board, the governor once again appointed someone who repeatedly has put political agendas ahead of the education of Texas schoolchildren. Ms. Lowe has marched in lockstep with a faction of board members who believe that their personal beliefs are more important than the experience and expertise of teachers and academics who have dedicated their careers to educating our children and helping them succeed. We can only hope that she will rise above her history on the board and as chair keep the board from continuing to hold the education of our children hostage to divisive ‘culture war’ battles.”
Lowe’s record on the State Board of Education includes:
In 2004 Ms. Lowe opposed requiring that publishers obey curriculum standards and put medically accurate information about responsible pregnancy and disease prevention in new high school health textbooks.
In 2008 Ms. Lowe voted to throw out nearly three years of work by teacher writing teams on new language arts standards. Over the strenuous objections of teachers and curriculum specialists, Lowe instead voted for a standards document that the board’s far-right bloc patched together overnight and slipped under hotel doors the morning of the final vote.
In 2003 and 2009 Ms. Lowe supported dumbing down the state’s public school science curriculum by voting to include unscientific, creationist criticisms of evolution in science textbooks and curriculum standards.
If you’re hoping things on the state board will improve under Ms. Lowe, don’t hold your breath. She appointed David Barton, an absurdly unqualified political activist, to the so-called “expert” panel for the social studies curricuclum revision. Barton has already called for removing from the curriculum historical figures like César Chavez whose politics he doesn’t like.
Read an earlier post from TFNInsider about Lowe, highlighting her highly politicized agenda for public schools (including global warming denial and shoe-horning lots of supposedly “conservative values” into the classroom).