I thought Texas may buck the trend and put someone in charge of the Board of Education that cares about the state of our high school graduates and accuracy in the curriculum. This is why I am not paid to think about things like policy and politics, Rick Perry has nominated Gail Lowe as the new head of the board. And we’ve yet to hear a response from maybe the most powerful group of science standard bearers in the state, the university professors. I have sent three letters now to Texas A&M, UT, and Texas Tech science faculty and have yet to receive a response or an acknowledgment about what is going on, but it seems to be par for the course for the gatekeepers of science in our state. So who is Gail Lowe?
Looking at her track record on the board you can find that she stands for “traditional conservative values.” This includes making our schools family friendly (unless your family is homosexual, because we all know that isn’t a real family), censoring books about alternative lifestyles, and maybe my favorite…”she guarantees she will turn down any book encouraging population removal or blaming global warming on the normal activities of everyday people” (emphasis mine).
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 2007 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.
And her conservative friends on the board just love her, here’s Terry Leo (R-Spring): “Philosophically I believe she is the most conservative SBOE member. We tease her, that if we are not voting with Gail we need to check our conservative compasses.”
And if didn’t seem things could get worse (more…)