Any Texan who wants to know why the State Board of Education recently lost much of its control over setting the standards for educational materials for Texas public schools should watch a new documentary titled “The Revisionaries.”
The documentary, which recently debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, focuses on Don McLeroy’s campaign to insert creationist teaching into public school textbook material requirements. McLeroy, a dentist, was appointed as chair of the State Board of Education by Gov. Rick Perry. The Sunday school teacher was later replaced by fellow conservative Barbara Cargil.
The documentary focuses on McLeroy’s opposition to scientifically sound material that he believed should not be taught to Texas students.
The material that was the main focus of contention for McLeroy and social conservative members of the board were lessons that included sections where students are instructed to compare chimpanzee and human skulls, learn about the fossil record — if only bones could talk — and a section on cell complexity.
According to a reviewer of the contentious material — a reviewer who was appointed by members of the board — the material is the lessons contained some “errors”. By errors it is safe to assume the reviewer meant that the material was not supportive of creationism.
Cargil was willing to compromise with fellow members of the board, even if they were very small compromises.
If one watches the trailer of the documentary they will hear this little gem of a quote from McLeary: “Our religion says that we are all created in the image of God. And because every little child is created in the image of God, I want to see that they have the best opportunity possible.”
It’s no wonder these buffoons have been all but stripped of their power. Now publishers of textbooks will be able to go straight to schools with their materials, instead of having to go through the board first.