Texas Freedom Network speaker is critical of power behind SBOC

The president and chief spokesperson of the Texas Freedom Network (TFN) Kathy Miller gave a presentation titled “Science, Scandal, and The State Board of Education” on Monday in Academic Building IV. She discussed issues pertaining to the Texas State Board of Education and how politicized the board has become in recent years.

“I don’t think the problem is the left and right,” Miller said. “I think that the problem is politicizing education at all.”

Currently, there are 10 Republicans and five Democrats on the board. Miller’s organization was founded in 1996 to combat the influence of the religious right in education.

“I think the problem is that we have a system that allows partisan politicians by a majority vote of 8-7 to determine what our kids learn for a decade or more instead of listening to teachers or scholars,” Miller said.

One area of recent contention has been the subject of evolution and whether alternative theory should be taught in public schools. Miller contended that in a science classroom evolution should be the only acceptable explanation for biological development on Earth.

“Evolution is the foundation of biological science, and you cannot go to college and think that there is an alternative theory to evolution and be successful in biology class.”

The SBOE is composed of 15 elected members who serve four year terms and determine the curriculum in Texas public schools.

Miller also discussed how history curriculum is being politicized through the insertion of religion, and focusing too little on minority groups.

“If you leave with nothing else today Texas needs a new way to make these decision about what goes into our schools.”

The event was sponsored by the Sam Houston State University history department as part of their Constitution Day celebration.

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