AUSTIN (AP) — The state's director of science curriculum said she resigned this month under pressure from officials who felt she gave the appearance of criticizing the instruction of intelligent design.
The Texas Education Agency put Chris Comer on 30 days paid administrative leave in late October, resulting in what she described as a forced resignation.
The move came shortly after Comer forwarded an e-mail announcing a presentation being given by the author of Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse. In the book, author Barbara Forrest says creationist politics are behind the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools. Comer sent the e-mail to several individuals and a few online communities.
Comer, who held her position for nine years, said she believes evolution politics were behind her ousting.
"None of the other reasons they gave are, in and of themselves, firing offenses," she said.
TEA officials declined to comment Wednesday on the personnel matter, but they explained their recommendation to fire Comer in documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman through the Texas Public Information Act.
"Ms. Comer's e-mail implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker's position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral," the officials said.
Next year, the State Board of Education begins a review of the state science curriculum, which will set standards for classroom instruction and textbook selection.
Let's forget for the moment that the state (not religous) education agency (Texas Education Agency) just said that it must remain neutral on an issue that is not science but being interjected into the sciece curriculum.
Let's also forget for a moment that is has already been ruled by a court in PA that ID is creationism, and religion, and by putting it into a public school science classroom there is a violation of the establishment clause.
Let's also ignore that for those who want to teach creationism to their children can do it in a homeschool setting, a religious day school setting, a relgious after school program, in church on Sunday morning and in their homes 24/7.
Putting it in a public school setting where there are children who are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddist, Pagan, Atheist, etc. violates their parental rights (something right wing Christian's like to argue for, a lot). In teaching a religous concept as science, which is not, concepts that may conflict with the parents relgious choice and desire for their children, we in effect create a state sanctioned religion. This is why only science should be taught in a public or public charter school science classroom.
We can also ignore the fact that by teaching creationsim as science the state of Texas is doing a huge disservice to it's children who will not do well outside the state in their adult life but also in attracting actual science teachers to the state.
Maybe we should organize a candlelight vigil for the plight of the children in Texas.
But wait, maybe we should organize a candlelight vigil for the plight of Americas children, because this is why you should care:
Texas is one of the largest, if not the largest, purchaser of textbooks. Because of this; what they demand be included in textbooks often finds it's way into textbooks for other states, and the standard issue textbook. It's cheaper and less work for an editor and publisher not to change too much.
With Comer's force resignation it seems clear that Texas is moving to calling into question evolution and including creationsim in the science classroom. What will that do to America's textbooks?
The war on science continues. You need to take a stand.
National Center for Science Education
A DEFEAT FOR "INTELLIGENT DESIGN"
Judgement Day, Intelligent Design on Trail - - - Watch the program