Justin Elliot of Talking Points Memo reports that Don McLeroy, the “top conservative activist on the powerful Texas Board of Education, who rejects evolution and has pushed for a revisionist right-wing U.S. history curriculum,” has gotten the boot:

Lobbyist Thomas Ratliff edged out McLeroy 50.4%-49.6% in a GOP primary for the seat McLeroy has held since 1999.


Ratliff is younger, moderate, and emphasized listening “to teachers and superintendents in determining what students should know,” according to the endorsement column of the Dallas Morning News.

McLeroy led the fight against teaching evolution in recent years, a position which became an issue during the race.

“I believe God created the Heavens and the Earth millions and millions of years ago,” Ratliff says on his Web site. “I do not believe, as my opponent does, that the Earth is a mere few thousand years old, nor do I believe, as my opponent does, that dinosaurs and mankind lived at the same time.”

TPM’s list of highlights from McLeroy’s tenure is also worth browsing. Here’s a sampling:

In 2008, he objected to including Chinese literature in English classes: “[Y]ou really don’t want Chinese books with a bunch of crazy Chinese words in them. Why should you take a child’s time trying to learn a word that they’ll never ever use again?” He conceded some terms, such as “chow mein,” might be useful, the San Antonio Express-News reported.


Last year he instructed curriculum writers to “read the latest on [Joseph] McCarthy—he was basically vindicated.”

He described his textbook evaluation process this way to the Washington Monthly: “The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes.”

Read the full report, including the McLeroy highlights, here.