Could it be that last week’s scathing indictment on Texas social studies curriculum standards by a conservative think tank will also be seen as an indictment on the leadership of current SBOE chairwoman Gail Lowe? It’s looking that way as legislators — including one who sits on the committee that will consider her re-nomination later in the legislative session — have begun to respond to the latest black eye on the Texas educational system.
In a letter to the Senate Nominations Committee, State Rep. and Chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, noted that the Fordham Institute gave the standards a grade of “D” for their “politicized distortion” of everything from the role slavery played in the in the Civil War, to the separation of church and state.
From Martinez Fischer:
As you know, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative policy center dedicated to conducting research on educational standards throughout the United States, has found that the Texas social studies curriculum is inadequate, inaccurate, and partisan.
The same day Martinez Fischer sent another letter, this one to Lowe, asking her to reevaluate the standards. Martinez Fischer was nice enough to copy the Nominations Committee on his letter to Lowe .
In his letter to Lowe, Martinez Fischer asks the chairwoman to “do right by Texas by reevaluating the curriculum.” So far, Lowe isn’t budging, which isn’t winning her any more fans on the Nominations Committee. Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, told the Houston Chronicle:
I don’t oppose Ms. Lowe because of what she believes or what I believe. I oppose her because she’s left this very important board with so little credibility that even some conservative groups are all-but flunking it.
Whether Lowe remains chairwoman is yet to be determined. But what is certain is that the Fordham Institute’s criticisms revived the outrage over the shenanigans at the SBOE. And Lowe’s stubborn, unflinching support of the now universally decried “D”-grade social studies standards may earn the chairwoman an “F” and cost her the chairmanship.