I am pleased to write that the creationist and generally anti-reality Don McLeroy has lost his bid for re-election to the Texas State Board of Education!
The man who ousted him is Thomas Ratliff, who is — gasp! — an actual educator who has vowed to try to remove the politicization of the board and also to actually – gasp again! — listen to educators when it comes to, y’know, educational topics. You may remember McLeroy is the goofball who infamously said, "Someone has to stand up to the experts!"
However, mitigating the good news somewhat are some things to consider:
1) McLeroy is still on the BoE for the next seven months before his term runs out. He can do a vast amount of damage to Texas schoolchildren’s education in that time.
2) Ratliff only won by a very narrow margin, meaning a whole lot of Texas citizens either didn’t know about McLeroy’s maniacal attempts at derailing the Lone Star State’s educational system, didn’t care, or actually supported him.
3) McLeroy and his crew of revisionist creationists have already done so much damage that it cannot be easily repaired. There is a cycle to the way standards and such are reviewed and updated in Texas, so it could be years before things are straightened out, if at all.
Still, this is good news, and so I won’t use the "Texas: Doomed" graphic. Instead, I’ll remind you not to rest:
Tip o’ the ten gallon hat to Robert Estes and the many others who emailed me about this. Originally posted on The Bad Astronomy Blog.