In hearings yesterday, NCSE members and allies showed up in force. At least four times as many people testified in favor of the supplements as written, versus those opposing the supplements or demanding significant changes.
Last year's election might have had something to do with that. With four new members, the balance of power on the 15-member board shifted just enough toward the center so that the conservative bloc could no longer push through its policies unimpeded.
Then the board unanimously approved the online science materials that will supplement existing textbooks, contingent on Scott's decision on the disputed submission.
Board member Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, said there were enough votes to back the publisher's position. But the compromise will produce the same result in a less contentious manner.
"We acknowledged that with our limited time and our limited experience with this issue, we needed help," Ratliff said.
Board member Gail Lowe, a widely respected member of the conservative bloc and, until recently, the board's chairwoman, endorsed the compromise. She said it was the best way to be consistent and fair to all the publishers.
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