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Staff Editorial March 1, 2010 //  by  // 1 Comment

Educational reform should start with new leadership

The Texas Board of Education is scheduled to meet March 10-12 to vote on changes to the state’s social studies curriculum. The university’s Center for Public History, Honors College and Houston Teachers Institute hosted a panel discussion Wednesday at the Honors College to examine the proposed changes.

During the discussion, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said the members of the board had “been pursuing a personal, political and religious agenda through a number of subjects.”

This comes as no surprise considering former chairman and current board member Don McLeroy said in a January interview with Washington Monthly magazine that “evolution is hooey.”

McLeroy also said that his process for choosing textbooks was based on how “they cover Christianity and Israel,” as well as how they cover President Ronald Regan, whom McLeroy said saved the world from communism and created a 20-year-long prosperous economy.

If the Board of Education approves changes to the curriculum, it will be altering history by choosing to ignore various important events in favor of pushing a political agenda.

The U.S. education system is already a mess. Generally speaking, American children are not as well educated as many of their peers around the globe.

The problem with the American education system is that it is politically motivated. Leaders who make the rules regarding education often have never taught in a classroom.

For example, McLeroy graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Is he really the best-suited person to decide what children should be taught in Texas?

Examining a larger scale, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan graduated from Harvard University with a degree in sociology. While Duncan may have a bit more experience in the education field, he also has never taught in a classroom; he couldn’t possibly know what curriculum students need.

If America really wants to be academically competitive with other nations, governments at all levels will have to reform their leadership to include educators who have been in America’s classrooms day in and day out.

opinion@thedailycougar.com


  • Carroline Methvin

    Prior classroom teaching experience should be a requirement for anyone who is guiding education programs. Too many lawyers, elected officials and people with doctoral degrees are running the education program. Many of our students cannot locate cities and countries on a map and too many of them cannot find where they live on a map

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