No longer. This being an election year, Texas Governor Rick Perry has decided that the Texas school system isn't broken enough already, so he's now going to mortgage our children's education in order to placate the right-wing religious fringe:
Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who has made outreach to Christian conservatives a theme of his gubernatorial portfolio, thinks Texas public school students should be taught intelligent design along with evolutionary theory, his office said Thursday.
Perry "supports the teaching of the theory of intelligent design," spokeswoman Kathy Walt said. "Texas schools teach the theory of evolution; intelligent design is a valid scientific theory, and he believes it should be taught as well."
Fortunately, the inmates haven't completely taken over the asylum. Some of the people in power here apparently haven't gotten the memo that they are to embrace the governor's newfound "old time religion":
Tincy Miller of Dallas, chairwoman of the State Board of Education, called intelligent design a nonissue in this year's elections. Board members voted in November 2003 against endorsing only biology textbooks that presented the most qualified characterizations of evolution, with words such as "may" or "could." Publishers at the time refused to make major changes to the evolution sections of the books.
"We had a huge discussion; it was just put to bed," Miller said. "We teach evolution in Texas." The board is slated to consider revised biology textbooks in 2008 at the earliest.
Miller calls it a non-issue. I hope that's not the case. I hope every single challenger--Democrat and Independent alike--hammers Perry on this. Hammers him hard. Makes him look like the ineffectual incompetent he is. He's been governor for six years now, and in that time he's failed to support education at every conceivable level. It's time he's held accountable, and this latest effort to pander to the religious right is going to turn around and bite him in the ass.
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