Inviting a rebuke from Democratic legislators, State Education Commissioner Robert Scott addressed the State Board of Education this morning and urged members to ignore the “tantrums” of detractors and proceed with a final vote, as planned, on social studies curriculum standards on Friday.
Time is critical, Scott insisted, despite the fact that several Hispanic and black legislators, all Democrats, urged the board yesterday to delay a final vote. The lawmakers said more time is needed to correct curriculum standards that the lawmakers and other board critics say are compromised by the board members’ political and religious beliefs.
Also among many other people and groups seeking a delay is former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige. He told board members yesterday that they needed to take more time to revise the standards to more adequately treat the roles of slavery and civil rights in Texas and American history.
But Scott, an appointee of Gov. Rick Perry, said it was important for the board to stick to their current schedule for purposes of updating endofcourse and college readiness assessments.
“Steel yourself against their criticisms and…the tantrums that will be thrown, and let’s get this process done,” the commissioner said.
Scott already has caught flak from Democrats for using the word “payback” at a hearing of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus last month. He used the term in relation to the effect of changing political winds over curriculum standards but insisted the remark was mischaracterized by critics.
Scott didn’t say who he was specifically talking about today, but I wonder how the legislators or Rod Paige – among others will like his choice of the word, “tantrums.”
Board member Geraldine Miller, who was unseated in the March Republican primary, made it clear she was annoyed by some of the legislators’ comments. She said she thought the board was “getting indirect threats (from the lawmakers), and that really rubbed us wrong.”