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Perry Appoints Lowe new State Board of Education Chair

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-848626.mp3

Dallas, TX –

Texas Governor Rick Perry has named State Board of Education member Gail Lowe, of Lampasas, to be the new board chair. Lowe says she's a conservative, much like the last leader, Don McLeroy, who was ousted earlier this year. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more.

Lowe says Perry asked her last week to apply for the chair position. So while she says she's overwhelmed by the appointment, she also expected it.

Critics of the past chair, a creationist, and now Lowe, say both let personal beliefs interfere with the board. The Texas Freedom Network says a Lowe appointee charged with examining social studies books, questioned the inclusion of Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall. The appointee said Chavez was not praiseworthy as a model of one active in the Democratic process. Dan Quinn, with the Texas Freedom Network, says that raises concerns about Lowe.

Quinn: She votes lock step with a faction of the board that puts their own political agendas ahead of the education of kids. It's outrageous.

Lowe says she never injects personal beliefs into board meetings. And as for the discussion of Chavez and Marshall.

Lowe: Certainly they're historic figures. But it needs to be in context of what those people were known for. If the example is someone of good civic involvement, there may be different type of historical figure and leader that would be more appropriate.

The state's education board discusses the issue next week, under the leadership of new chair person Gail Lowe.

Email Bill Zeeble