One-Hour Special: The Texas Textbook Controversy II
Audio 1 here!
Audio 2 here!
Matthew LaClair spoke with controversial figure Don McLeroy, a Christian literalist and Creationist member of the Texas Board of Education, and with another Republican member of the board, Bob Craig. They discussed the Texas Board of Education’s curriculum changes that are likely to pass this May which, as the New York Times explains, “Stress(es) the superiority of American capitalism, question(s) the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government, and present(s) Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.”
As promised, here are the links to the proposed high school curriculum, the proposed middle school curriculum, and the proposed elementary school curriculum.
If you have any comments, suggestions, or corrections you’d like to share with the Texas Board of Education concerning what you find there, please forward them to ETFF host, Matthew LaClair at either firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com, and he will rush them to Dr. McLeroy and the Texas Board of Education!!
“This is the first time that any serious positive steps forward have (taken place) with Dr. McLeroy. He was willing to speak with me, a 20-year-old non-theist living in, and going to college in New York City. Why have the majority of people (complaining) refused to attempt having a civil discussion with him?
“I understand that in the majority of cases with people on the Right, especially Young Earth Creationists, you will not convince them of anything, and they will never change their minds. But that does not mean that we can generalize every individual. We can’t make any steps forward unless we have open dialogue. Shame on us for not trying this sooner.
“Now by no means do I forgive the (American) Right Wing for the damage they are causing to this country. Dr. McLeroy and I disagree strongly on that point, and many others as you have heard on the show. But that doesn’t mean that he is unwilling to listen and he has proven that to a point. The only question that remains is (whether he) will actually make the changes we discussed on the show.
“He has taken a more humanistic step than many of us on the Left have. Unlike many of us, he was willing to actually have a discussion not based on the press stories, but on the actual curriculum; and further than that, he was willing to change his mind. There are a decent amount of individuals and organizations who have in fact been looking at the curriculum and making some points. But nothing has come of it until now.
“He did not call me names, but many friends of mine have called him an idiot and other such names. Well, this “idiot”… is still in charge of a curriculum that can impact millions for a decade. Rather than spending time complaining about how “stupid” he is, we should have tried to get to know him first, or at the very least, read the curriculum and makes suggestions.
“We have 10 days (as of May 9) to get something done. This is ‘finals week’ for me, but I will work tirelessly on this to continue working with McLeroy and others on the board to fix some of these problems, and I hope you will too. I will post the full interview online, as well as provide links to the actual standards and one of my email addressed. As Dr. McLeroy stated, anything that comes through me, he will be sure to look at carefully. Lets get to work!” – Matthew LaClair
Extended Interviews coming soon!