Update: SBOE yet to take final vote on science curriculum langauge, although vote rejecting the “strengths and weaknesses” language basically means the proposed new language, which eliminates the “strengths and weaknesses” langauge, will be approved by and 8-7 vote.  We’re just waiting for it to become official.


Following the State Board of Education’s 7-7 vote to remove the “strengths and weaknesses” wording from the TEKS requirement for science teaching, Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs at Free Market Foundation, released the following statement: 

“It’s outrageous that our highest elected education officials voted to silence teachers and students in science class.  Despite being overwhelmed by emails and phone calls to keep strengths and weaknesses, the State Board of Education ignored constituents and sided with a small group of liberal activists.  This decision shows that science has evolved into a political popularity contest. The truth has been expelled from the science classroom.”


Mr. Saenz testified in the State Board of Education hearing.  He was joined by Texas-based science experts and a mother whose children were affected by proposed changes, who argued for the 20-year requirement of teaching strengths and weaknesses in Texas schools.

Here at the SBOE again.  Motion was made to keep strengths and weaknesses language.  The motion failed 7-7, because of no majority, SBOE member Rene Nunez was not present.  He showed up afterwards.

For “Strengths & Weaknesses”

Barbara Cargill (Republican)

Cynthia Dunbar (Republican)

Terri Leo (Republican)

David Bradley (Republican)

Ken Mercer (Republican)

Gail Lowe (Republican)

Don McLeroy (Republican)


Bob Craig (Republican)

Pat Hardy (Republican)

Tincy Miller (Republican)

Rick Agosto (Democrat)

Lawrence Allen (Democrat)

Mavis Knight (Democrat)

Mary Helen Berlanga (Democrat)

Then SBOE member Cynthia Dunbar made the motion to amend the proposed language to insert the words “supportive or not supportive” instead of “strengths and weaknesses.”  This language came from SMU prof Ron Wetherington when he testified on this in November 2008, he was the expert recommended by Tincy Miller and Pat Hardy.  Suprisingly or not, Pay Hardy and Tincy Miller voted against supporting their expert’s language.  Why?  Pat Hardy claimed she talked to Wetherington after the November hearing and he then said that he would not support his own language.  How convenient.

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