Irony, Thy Name Is McLeroy

by

Even as a conservative education think tank was putting the finishing touches on a report excoriating the Texas State Board of Education for wrecking social studies standards, former board chair Don McLeroy was speaking to a far-right Education Policy Conference in St. Louis (headlined by Ann Coulter) saying:

We have bequeathed a precious legacy to Texas public education. Strong academic standards are now in place that will improve academic achievement, prepare our children for the future and help develop well-informed citizens.

Let’s just say the scholars at the (right-leaning) Fordham Institute disagree:

A popular Lone Star State slogan proclaims ‘Texas: It’s like a whole other country’ — but Texas’s standards are a disservice both to its own teachers and students and to the larger national history of which it remains a part.

But while their conclusions about the rigor and accuracy of the new standards are miles apart, ironically, McLeroy and the reviewers at the Fordham Institute actually agree about quite a few things — principally that the fight over education standards in Texas is a lot more about politics than education. The difference is that while Fordham decries this fact, McLeroy celebrates it:

This battle is ideological; it’s between “the left” and religious conservatives… To get education right, you have to leave “the left” behind; to adopt sound education policy one must overcome the irrational opposition of the left.

And so it goes throughout McLeroy’s gloating speech — what Fordham identifies as blatant departure from mainstream scholarship, McLeroy holds up as victories for conservative ideology. Examples abound.

On the uncritical fetish Texas’ standards have with the free enterprise system, Fordham accuses:

Throughout the Texas standards, dozens of references (even the title of the high school economics course) offer a drumbeat of uncritical celebration of “the free enterprise system and its benefits” — resembling, in an inverted historical echo, Soviet schools harping on the glories of state socialism.

And McLeroy applauds:

The free enterprise system is the dominant economic theme of our new history standards; it is also built upon the radical Judeo-Christian idea that man is created in the image of God. This idea has led to limited government…and to the development of personal responsibility. The free enterprise system makes better people. The free enterprise system rewards hard work, diligence and competence; it punishes laziness, cheating and freeloading.

On the historically problematic attempt to exonerate Joseph McCarthy, Fordham accuses:

It is disingenuously suggested that the House Un-American Activities Committee—and, by extension, McCarthyism—have been vindicated by the Venona decrypts of Soviet espionage activities (which had, in reality, no link to McCarthy’s targets).

And McLeroy is positively gleeful:

We touched the Holy Grail of leftism with this one!

On exaggerating the influence of biblical law and Christianity on America’s political ideals, Fordham accuses:

Members of the SBOE also showed themselves determined to inject their personal religious beliefs into history education. Judeo-Christian (especially “biblical law”) and “Moses” are, incredibly, listed as the principal political influences on America’s founders. The separation of church and state, a much-debated and crucial concept in the drafting of the state constitutions (1777–1781) and the federal Constitution (1787), is simply dismissed.

And McLeroy doubles down:

The source for the moral power on which the foundation of our country is based is the radical Judeo-Christian idea that all men are created in the image of God. Our whole idea of liberty, of the Declaration’s “all men are created equal”, and of the importance of the individual is grounded in this great truth.

Sigh.

But I’ll say this for McLeroy — at least he is honest about his agenda and ideological commitments. When Gail Lowe — the current board chair — is called before the Senate Nominations committee later this spring for her confirmation, don’t expect her to be so forthcoming.

You can read McLeroy’s full presentation here. (His presentation goes beyond social studies. He also gloats about the great conservative “victories” over mainstream science the board accomplished during his tenure.)

11 Responses to “Irony, Thy Name Is McLeroy”

  1. Ryan Ripstra Says:

    The link to the document is behind a subscriber log-in, with not apparent links off of it how to get an account. I’m awfully curious what else he’s said. Can we get an updated link, or instructions on how to access the one you’ve linked to?

    Thanks!

  2. Ryan Says:

    Should be fixed now…apologies.

  3. Stella Says:

    I can’t believe adults believe and say this crap.

  4. Rocket Mike Says:

    It looks as if Little Lord McLeroy is still abusing the nitrous oxide. He claims the mantle of Conservative but he is far from it with his delusional rantings. The reasonable conservatives in his district dumped him for a real, honest conservative. He just has not had his head clear enough to realize or admit it. May the real conservatives like Mr. Ratliff and the folks at the Fordham Institute continue to stand up for truthfull conservativism to show how low the dissembling delusions of Little Lord McLeroy and his ilk have drug the name “Conservative” in Texas.

  5. Gordon Fowkes Says:

    Christianity had it’s influence on the development of the Anglo-American political tradition, but as the preferred religion of entrepreneurs involved in global rum and brandy smuggling trade into England from sources in France and the Americas. The English Crown wanted to tax booze, which is a traditional form of governmental oppression, and which blew up in the US in the Whiskey Rebellion and Prohibition.

    The connection between whiskey, guns, and the bible is rock solid.

    The connection between specific biblical chaper and verse depends on copious amounts of the first.

  6. Doc Bill Says:

    McLeroy is a liar. There, I said it. He gave an interview some years ago where he stated his YEC and all that, and said that it would not interfere nor influence his duties as Chairman.

    That was a lie. McLeroy actively promoted a YEC viewpoint into the science standards, even going so far as to quote creationist material in board meetings, taped and recorded, and also openly pressed his ideology in the social studies standards.

    However, that said, how long must the Texas legislature allow the SBOE to run amok? Why have an SBOE at all if anything goes by majority vote? I say we fight to repeal the Law of Gravity! It’s oppressive and I’m not going to take it any more!

  7. Hartmut Says:

    Gravity is an invention of that archleftist Newton. His contemporaries still realized that his idea amounted to the claim of demonic powers (ghosts) governing the universe. Right-minded people know that ‘gravity’ is best explained by the theory of intelligent falling as proposed by the great Christian philosopher Harry. S. Tottle long before Mr. New Ton. But alas this pseudoscientific British heresy has taken hold with in the Lord’s chosen people (white USian males).

  8. David Says:

    McLeroy can kiss my left behind.
    He’s definitely guitly of something. Guys like him have something going on in their closet of some kind.

  9. David Says:

    guilty

  10. Doc Bill Says:

    All of McLeroy is summed up by what he wrote here:

    “The theme is freedom. These men understood America and the principles upon which she stood: self-evident truths; liberty, with its twin corollaries of limited government and individual responsibility; the embrace of Judeo-Christian values; and “a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”
    Every one of these founding principles is undermined by a philosophical foundation of evolution.”

    Evolution. Evolution is the common theme throughout his presentation. It all comes down to his personal creationist religious beliefs. The real irony, however, is how insecure McLeroy is about his religious beliefs, and the real tragedy is that he has foisted off his insecurities on the students of Texas.

    We must all work to find a way to impose checks and balances on the SBOE. There must be a way to impose an impartial review to prevent the hijacking of education standards by fringe, religious ideologues.

  11. Gordon Fowkes Says:

    If evolution never happened and all creatures were set on earth at one time, it follows that animal husbandry would be impossible, that a breed of animal cannot be bred selectively.

    Thus breeding horses, dogs, cats, cattle, fish, or fowl by intelligent selection, is a Leftish plot fiddling with God’s own DNA.

    Nor would it be possible for vaious species to adapt to the behaviors of others as a source of food, like the crocodiles waiting in a river in Africa to catch migrating wildebeests or pronghorns.

    I’ve been watching “Great Migrations” narrated by Alec Baldwin …. Amazing stuff!

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