Review Panelist Says Cargill Is Interfering In Textbook Process

Sep 16, 2013

The review process for next year's State Board of Education-approved biology textbooks has already hit several bumps along the way with controversial comments by reviewers about evolution and climate change, but now there are allegations about improper conduct by SBOE Chairwoman Barbara Cargill.

This week the SBOE received an anonymous letter from one of the reviewers -- that same letter was also sent to Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network.

"His (the person who sent the letter) concern was that Chairwoman Barbara Cargill had come by during the in-person review of the textbooks and she seemed to spend a lot of time at two of the review tables," Miller said.

The review panels are made up of people who were hand picked by SBOE members.

Miller said Cargill is a known creationist and during the review session she pointed out several passages in the textbooks and made comments to those in charge of reviewing the books. 

Millers said another complainant in the letter refers to the qualifications of those on the review panels.

"There are a large number of very unqualified folks serving on these review teams," Miller said. "People who he (person who sent the letter), as a Ph.D. candidate in biology, had to teach about biology during the review process."

The SBOE will hear public comment on the selection of next year’s biology textbook on Tuesday, Sept. 17.