26 April 2008

Texas Education Agency and Chris Comer, Part 31

Kenneth Heydrick (pictured) is the new Texas Education Agency science coordinator. This used to be Chris Comer's job.

The press release says that he has edited a biology textbook, though I can't find what it is, and that his first degree is in biology. Even more encouraging, an Austin American-Statesman Homeroom blog notes:
Heydrick has stood up to attempts to weaken teaching evolution in the past, asking the State Board of Education in a 2003 hearing on textbooks not to require changes in textbooks to water-down evolution lessons or add “nonscientific alternatives such as intelligent design.”
Another article notes:
Heydrick, who worked as a high school science teacher for 10 years, has held several state and national leadership positions, serving as immediate past president of the Science Teachers Association of Texas and on the State Board of Education's earth science task force.
I can't resist quoting a snipe from the American-Statesman blog, though:
And his current boss at Pflugerville says he’s good at working with teachers and working with others, plus he’s got seven dogs and four cats. Because being an animal lover obviously makes him better qualified to shape the state science curriculum.

This appears to be good news on the face of it. Certainly, there had to be the worry on whether the TEA would try to hire someone with weak credentials in biology. But he appears to have the chops.

Two major antievolution stories in Texas are ending on an optimistic note in the same week. Interesting.

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