Generally speaking when appointing someone to head up a State Senate’s education committee, it would help that they are at least somewhat educated. Not so in the great state of Arizona, where they have appointed Sylvia Allen, a senator whose views are somewhat, shall we say, fringe. Specifically, she believes that the earth is only 6,000 years old, that the government is poisoning citizens with chemtrails as well as controlling the weather, and that church should be mandatory for the citizens of the state — all views that are false and flatly dangerous for someone in her position.
Allen has been pilloried by Arizonans because most of them aren’t complete buffoons. Editorials and opinion pieces as well as letters to the editor have called her appointment an “insult to intelligence” and pointed out the hand she has had in the Grand Canyon State’s tumble to 47th in education relative to other states.
Allen has also shot back saying that she should be judged on her policies, not her beliefs. How she plans to divorce her policy recommendations from her beliefs remains to be seen, but we can assume her defense is dubious at best. She wrote a rebuttal herself in AZCentral, decrying the concerns of her constituents as personal attacks, as well as laying out her plans to help improve education in Arizona.
To be fair, some of her ideas aren’t half bad. She supports giving more control back to teachers and parents as well as to support parental choice with regards to schools. Of course, she also believes that the government is engaging in a massive conspiracy to control the weather by seeding the sky with chemicals from the back of passenger airliners, so there is that.
Hopefully she also stays out of biology and history classrooms, as the belief that the earth is only 6,000 years old may be the single silliest any adult can hold in the modern world, aside from maybe making church attendance mandatory. Aside from the blatant violation of freedom of religion that would be, she also seems to believe that people who don’t go to church are incapable of being moral. Of course, if somebody can only be moral because they fear recourse from a magical deity rather than being moral for the sake of being moral, that morality is much more questionable.
Needless to say, Allen’s appointment signals dark times for Arizona’s future if she is deemed the best person to head education in the state. After all, if someone as woefully ignorant as she is is making education policy, the standards will almost certainly be exceedingly low.