Taking the Texas SBOE to School

Breaking News

Two years ago, this reporter attended a Texas State Board of Education meeting as an intern for an Austin-based publication. She, the unpaid intern, was one of three journalists sitting in the press box, one of whom (not her) spent the majority of the two-day meeting napping in his chair. Now that many across the state and country are rightfully sitting up and taking notice of the same hard-headed, culture war-crusading, ultra-conservative 7 member bloc of the 15-member board that time and again pushed their personal beliefs on everything from basic biology lessons to Thomas Jefferson, concerned citizens must grapple with the difficult question of how they can curtail powers they view as misused at the expense of a generation of Texas schoolchildren.

Obviously, voting is one way to make a preference known. San Antonians have two possibilities to vote come Nov. 2. To the north, one-term conservative SBOE representative Ken Mercer up against re-election against Democrat opponent, Texas State professor Rebecca Bell-Metereau. To the south, the elusive Rick Agosto slips out of his seat, and we’ve yet to see any qualified contenders step up to the race.

The problem with the Nov. 2 elections? They’re in November. Meanwhile, on May 19-21, the SBOE votes on the social studies curriculum standards that has alarmed so many here and nationally. The actions taken at that meeting could affect textbook and testing subject matter for the next decade....

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