Texas Citizens for Science has posted a summary of the political pressures:
TEA has a new policy, one of neutrality between biological evolution and Intelligent Design Creationism. This new policy was put in place when Dr. Don McLeroy–an outspoken Creationist and activist for Intelligent Design Creationism and its marketing campaign–was appointed the new Chair of the State Board of Education (SBOE). By publicizing a lecture by a Louisiana State University professor of the philosophy of science that supported evolution–as required by the state’s science standards–and opposed Intelligent Design Creationism, Chris Comer ran afoul of the new policy and was asked to resign or be fired immediately. The memo to her from the TEA contained several other excuses, all of which were bogus, trumped-up, or common among employees. Amazingly, this memo is now available for the public to read thanks to the American-Statesman (see below), and it reveals the lengths to which the top administrators of our state’s public education agency will go to silence dissent from their new policy of not criticizing Creationism.
The real reason she was forced to resign is because the top TEA administrators and some SBOE members wanted her out of the picture before the state science standards–the science TEKS–were reviewed, revised, and rewritten next year. Plans are underway by some SBOE members and TEA administrators to diminish the requirement to teach about evolutionary biology in the Biology TEKS and to require instead that biology instructors “Teach the Controversy” about the “weaknesses” of evolution, that is, teach the Creationist-inspired and -created bogus controversy about evolution that doesn’t exist within legitimate science. There are no scientific weaknesses with biological evolution as the natural process is understood by scientists. At the level at which it is taught in high school, evolutionary biology has no weaknesses, gaps, or problems. Therefore, it is duplicitous to pretend such “weaknesses” and “controversy” exist.