Ken Mercer continues to mislead when questioned about evolution

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In a recent interview of candidates for the State Board of Education in District 5, Ken Mercer responds to the question: What is your position on the teaching of evolution? “My biggest quote was, 'If our kids do not have the freedom to raise their hands in science class and ask honest questions, then we are no longer living in the United States of America.' You can call it strengths and weaknesses, but we won the right for kids to ask questions in class, and that was the battle. It wasn't religion. It was just a right to ask questions.”

I don't know about you but I've never been in a classroom whether as a student or as a parent observing where children didn't have the right ask questions. Our teachers encourage questions as a way to participate in class and clarify understanding. Mr. Mercer's answer is an evasion because he never states his position on the scientific validity of evolution. What he and the other conservatives on the SBOE did was encourage our children to not just ask questions but to argue with their teachers about whether or not scientific principles are appropriate to the study of biology.

Texas has some of the lowest performing schools in the nation and Mr. Mercer's actions will keep it that way. That's all the reason I need to send him packing in November by voting for Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau.

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  1. The clearest path
    to completely destroying our public school system is to continue to elect social conservatives who can't separate their religious views from our state government. And who don't and won't tell the truth about their true agendas.

    As Jason Embry said today about Rick Perry's hands-off approach to the SBOE:

    After the board's final vote on the standards last month, Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle told the San Antonio Express-News, “The State Board of Education members are independently elected officials, and the governor has no intention of getting involved in the process.” I sought further explanation from Castle myself this week. Didn't get any.

    President Barack Obama and the 535 members of Congress are also independently elected officials. Yet Perry has barnstormed this state over the past 18 months assailing Washington on issues such as health care, spending and energy. Yes, the decisions made in Washington affect Texas, and Perry has a right to stand up for his state. But decisions made by the State Board of Education also affect Texas. There's even a direct link to Perry's job – the governor appoints the board chairman – and there will be efforts in the next legislative session to weaken the board's authority.

    The political calculation here is pretty clear. The state board members driving the changes to the social studies curriculum speak for one of Perry's primary constituencies – social conservatives. [emphasis added.]

    Rick Perry continues to amaze. But it's not the good kind.

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