The previous post on the “Texas English / Language Arts standards debacle” has raised questions about intentionality — whether this just shows incompetence, or whether the right-wing board leadership and majority are acting with nefarious intent.
A May 21 article by Gary Scharrer for the Houston Chronicle is suggestive, I think. It reports that in a letter to Gov. Rick Perry, Mary Helen Berlanga — the senior member of the Board, having served since 1984 — wrote that Don McLeroy “has created havoc” as chairman of the State Board of Education and should be replaced.
Berlanga faults McLeroy for the way he has engineered the rewriting of the state’s English language arts and reading curriculum, which will go to the board for a final vote on Thursday.
As reported in the earlier post, the vote actually came Friday — on a new hundred-page version slapped together overnight by the right-wing majority and slipped under Board members’ hotel room doors an hour before the meeting. The Wednesday article reports that
[Berlanga] renewed earlier criticisms of McLeroy for inviting experts in topics ranging from special education and dyslexia, but not including Hispanic experts in the development of English standards. “Any intelligent, logical person would have named an expert who had dealt with Hispanic children and language minority children since more than (47 percent) of the 4.5 million students in our public schools are Hispanic.” …
“Texas has a large population of Hispanics, and (McLeroy) seems bent on alienating this very significant group of voters,” she wrote. “He has managed to alienate our Texas teachers. For the sake of our great state do not allow this Master of Deceit to continue his very dangerous game.”
Berlanga’s letter to the governor was reported Wednesday, so we can infer that McLeroy’s action Friday — railroading a vote on a standards document that Board members were not allowed an opportunity to read — could not have been mere inadvertence or disorganization.