17 September 2010

Pay attention to your State Board of Education candidates

Oh, Texas State Board of Education. You’re the gift to blogging that never stops giving.

Because the Texas State Board of Education is an elected position, there are a long series of run-offs to determine which candidates will be placed on the final ballot. The Austin Chronicle is looking at some of the candidates who hope to serve as representatives, and the story starts with a blunt opening, describing Austin as home to:

(T)he University of Texas... workplace of many of this state's most brilliant minds, who are achieving groundbreaking research in such fields as biology, physics, and history.

And right here, on this side of the window, right-wing Christian conservatives have been toiling for several years now trying to undermine, educationally and politically, much of those scholars' work.

Unsurprisingly, as reporters know this is a bellweather question, candidates are often asked about the teaching of evolution, if they don’t volunteer it outright. Here’s one of the candidates, Marsha Farney, who some were hoping would represent a more moderate Republican point of view:

“My faith is not shaken by evolution. ... It should be taught as a theory.”

The Chronicle characterizes many of her statements as vague, and I think that qualifies.

It also profiles incumbent Board member Ken Mercer, who’s made an appearance or two in this blog before for statements he’s made about the teaching of evolution.

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