Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mercer debate claims don't pass the smell test

State Board of Education District 5 incumbent Ken Mercer is running for re-election. In the Republican Primary debate held last week Mr. Mercer repeatedly claimed that students are not allowed to raise their hands and ask questions in science class. His opponent Mr. Tuggey suggested that, if that’s really happening then it’s a local issue which should be handled by the administration in that district, not micro-managed by the heavy hand of the SBOE. That’s a great way to look at the purported problem, but what Mr. Tuggey failed to note is that many of Mr. Mercer’s claims are ginned up to provide red meat to his most rabid supporters and I’m betting this one is too.

Ken Mercer also claimed that while the curriculum writing teams are required by law to involve participation of teachers, parents and business people; only teachers were involved. For this to be true none of the 102 team members must have any children, I find that highly improbable.

Mr. Mercer claims that conservative historians in classrooms were shut out of the process. Given that Republicans hold a 2 to 1 advantage on the board and appointed 67 of the 102 team members that is an absurd assertion. Can he seriously believe that not a single conservative was named to the teams with kind of majority? But wait, if he’s so concerned about the lack of conservatives, parents and business people why didn’t he bother to nominate even a single person to the teams?

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