Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Texas State Board of Education Dummies Down

Why? Because there are 10 Republican dummies on the 15 member board.

Think Progress calls attention to a Houston Chronicle article on the first draft "for proposed standards in United States History Studies Since Reconstruction." What's taken them so long? Shows you how much the Board of Education cares about education. But they'd probably be better off letting the sleeping giant sleep before they really screw up the works, which the Ignorant Right seems hell bent on doing and which calls into question their own knowledge of history or anything else for that matter.
The first draft for proposed standards in United States History Studies Since Reconstruction says students should be expected “to identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority.” [...] Others have proposed adding talk show host Rush Limbaugh and the National Rifle Association.The 15-member committee, stacked with 10 Republicans, is expected to vote along party lines.
Earlier this year, a panel of right-wing “experts” produced a report urging the committee to remove biographies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen F. Austin, César Chávez , and instead add history about the “motivational role the Bible and the Christian faith played in the settling of the original colonies.”

According to the Chronicle "two reviewers have recommended that César Chávez, the late farm workers union leader, be removed from history books because they deem him an unworthy role model." These “review committees” are "made up largely of active and retired school teachers to draft new social studies curriculum standards as well as six “expert reviewers” to help shape the final document." "Expert" is not defined but probably means anyone who can spell a one syllable word.

If this is approved, one can only hope that someone or some organization will sue the pants off this ignorant school board and take it all the way to the Supreme Court. Not only can this cost the board a lot of money - money that would be better spent on quality teachers, books and schools - it can deny a generation of children an accurate and balanced knowledge of historical figures and events.

This also means that the parents who can afford it will put their children in private schools where they will not be subjected to such ignorance. But parents who don't have that kind of money will be forced to send their children to schools that teach selective history in a world of broad censorship.


  1. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.

    This is even more potentially damaging than forcing anti-scientific religious beliefs about the origins of the world into schools. Using the teaching of history as indocrination/propaganda is tremendously dangerous. We do it enough already, mostly in subtle and unintentional ways, that we don't need to take it to the next logical step this way.

    It's really hard not to be a fire-eater sometimes.

  2. Hopefully saner minds will prevail. If not, I'm sure it will turn into a major constituional battle - hopefully backed by the ACLU and the NAACP among others.