The new Texas State Board of Education: ups and downs

Well the new, more moderate state board of education (SBOE) seems to be getting some results.   Previously experts could be assigned just by 2 board members agreeing to it.  RIDICULOUS!  Pastors advice was being used over historians.   Now they at least need to have a Bachelor’s degree and demonstrated expertise in the subject area.  Crazy to think that we actually need this in writing.  This should be understood but unfortunately this was abused by members of the previous board (who were elected out thankfuly).

Really though, these requirements are pretty weak.  Having an undergraduate degree in history or physics doesn’t make you a historian or physicist.    And of course most of these people will probably have an education degree.  I’m not saying teachers should not be part of the process.  Of course they should be, but if you want content expertise, teachers are not good enough.  I had an AP physics teacher who didn’t know calculus.  I don’t think I want that person in charge of physics content.

Bottom line:  its a step in the right direction.  Hopefully stricter rules don’t need to be put in place.  We need to make sure that the Board members we elect have some common sense and integrity rather than politics.

The bad news is the comments by Carlos Garza on Global Warming.  Add this to fire of jokes ppl care making about Texas.   First, Carlos Garza is qualified to serve on this board.  Of course any citizen is qualified pretty much.  Carlos Garza though is qualified in my opinion.  He has 10 years of experience in education.  However, his comments on global warming betray him.  Whether they are rooted in religion or politics, they were unprofessional.  His statements had nothing to do with the business of the Board at that moment.  His arguments are the same old weak ones e.g. there is no scientific consensus.  Well I do not know of a single scientific organization that does not dissent on  global warming.  Not the APS, ASA, National Academies, etc etc.  Over 95%   of active climate researchers support Anthropogenic causes to global warming.  (I can supply references if needed).   This consensus continues to grow as more and more data is collected.  In the end of the day, a person with no scientific training should probably defer to scientific consensus.  Oh im getting tempted to get off topic and talk about more why layman people have trouble understanding science in general (whether it be climate, evolution, cosmology, and whatever else seem to annoy some members of religion…. which it really shouldn’t).  ill stop here though.


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