Perry-Appointed Texas Board of Education Chairwoman Disputes Evolution

By JIM VERTUNO | July 20, 2011 | 3:29 PM EDT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas State Board of Education meets this week for the first time under its conservative new chairwoman appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.

The board is expected to rekindle the debate over teaching evolution and the origin of life in public schools.

Perry, who is considering a run for president and has embraced social conservatives in Texas, named Barbara Cargill chairwoman earlier this month. The biology teacher disputes the theory of evolution and voted to require that the theory's weaknesses be taught in classrooms.

A public hearing Thursday over supplemental science materials is likely to rekindle the debate over teaching evolution in public schools.

An intense fight over evolution and intelligent design theory in science curriculum put a national spotlight on the board in 2009.

Texas education board to rekindle evolution debate