December 04, 2007

Incompetent Leadership

First, the Republicans screwed up the Ag Commission. Then they moved their people into TXDOT and the appointees only brill idea was to throw up their hands, say 'We can't do the job' and abdicate responsibility for our roads by seeking to privatize public roads, selling them off in most cases to the lowest bidder (or at least trying to...). Let's not even get started about the disastrous effort to privatize HHS and what Susan Combs is doing at the Comptroller's office.

Now we've found out about all kinds of problems at the TEA, specifically the idiotic political appointees making irrational decisions to fire a long time and highly talented permanent employee. For doing her job. Oh, I'm sorry... she was given the choice to resign or be fired. My bad.

The state's director of science curriculum has resigned after being accused of creating the appearance of bias against teaching intelligent design.

Chris Comer, who has been the Texas Education Agency's director of science curriculum for more than nine years, offered her resignation this month.

In documents obtained Wednesday through the Texas Public Information Act, agency officials said they recommended firing Comer for repeated acts of misconduct and insubordination. But Comer said she thinks political concerns about the teaching of creationism in schools were behind what she describes as a forced resignation.

Agency officials declined to comment, saying it was a personnel issue.

Comer was put on 30 days paid administrative leave shortly after she forwarded an e-mail in late October announcing a presentation being given by Barbara Forrest, author of "Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse," a book that says creationist politics are behind the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools. Forrest was also a key witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case concerning the introduction of intelligent design in a Pennsylvania school district. Comer sent the e-mail to several individuals and a few online communities, saying, "FYI."

Agency officials cited the e-mail in a memo recommending her termination. They said forwarding the e-mail not only violated a directive for her not to communicate in writing or otherwise with anyone outside the agency regarding an upcoming science curriculum review, "it directly conflicts with her responsibilities as the Director of Science."

The memo adds, "Ms. Comer's e-mail implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker's position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral."

Must remain neutral? Why? We already have a federal court on record saying that intelligent design is not science and that evolution is. What's there to be neutral about?

Yeah, this is all a bunch of crap and this person should be reinstated post haste. And get rid of the idiot that forced her out. Let her go to work with Arlene Wohlgemuth figuring out a way to screw up something else.

See Kuff, Pink Dome, Capital Annex, Hal at Half Empty and Wired for their takes.

Posted by mcblogger at December 4, 2007 12:34 AM

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