Thursday, August 2, 2012

Capitol Punishment blog: taking the SBOE to task

I am one of millions of fathers across this state that has a young child that will undoubtedly be going through the public education system. I was born here, met my wife here, started a family here, and very well may die here. My mother was a teacher here and she fought the education system her entire tenure. The point is I, like many Texans have a vested interest in public education. There are countless (not literally) independent school districts (ISDs) across this state and it is fairly common that the quality of the ISD is a major determining factor about where a family will buy a house. Paraphrasing, VP Joe Biden, in Texas school districts are a B.F.D. When I came across the Capitol Punishment blog, I was astonished.

Capitol Punishments article about the State Board Of Education (that capitalized "Of" is for you Krista) is dead on. I do not have the same fervor for deriding the conservatives as the author does, but when they act as the SBOE does there is no alternative. I am usually discouraged when I read an opinionated blog post as facts are usually the first casualty. Not so here, Krista lays out her case with multiple videos, links, and references. I should point out that the post is exhaustive, informative, and expertly done. There is an exuberance in the writing that conveys the sincerity of the poster.

The fundamental essence of the post is to expose how woefully inadequate and ill-informed the people that determine what the children of Texas learn in school. The SBOE determines what textbooks get funded by the Texas Public School system, a book not funded has to be paid for out of pocket by the school. Sounds reasonable, until you find out that a decent number of board members are challenging science as accepted by the scientific community. The scientific rules they challenge? Evolution. I try to be a centrist in all things, find what ever facts may be behind the controversy and base a judgment off that. For an elected official that influences what children of this state learns to willfully ignore facts and science in favor of rigid religious beliefs is ridiculous. Some members of the board are attempting to include creationism and/or intelligent design as an alternative possibility since they consider the theory of evolution to have some weaknesses. Krista called it "bat-shit insane", I have to agree. She then quotes the Texas Republican stance against teaching critical thinking in school. Both of these stances damage the states educational standing and are criminal offenses as I see it.

The poster even has a philosophy of providing solutions to the problem. All but the fifth solution is an honest suggestion, with a little heated rhetoric. The fifth solution is really just a call for common sense. There aren't enough people that take the time to state their opinion, provide numerous facts to back up their stance, give solutions. That sounds like the beginning of reasonable discussion. Now all we need is for the the SBOE and the Texas Republican platform to be reasonable. Capitol Punishment did all the work, we just need to vote.

1 comment:

  1. Actually my words were "bat-shit crazy," but I think I like your version better. :) Thank you for the kind words, as well as additional bad press for the SBOE. They could certainly use quite a bit more.