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Thin edge of the wedge in Texan education?


Any Texans out there?

Did you know what (revisionist?) plans were afoot in your education system?
Even as a panel of educators laid out a vision Wednesday for national standards for public schools, the Texas school board was going in a different direction, holding hearings on changes to its social studies curriculum that would portray conservatives in a more positive light, emphasize the role of Christianity in American history and include Republican political philosophies in textbooks.
There have also been efforts among conservatives on the board to tweak the history of the civil rights movement. One amendment states that the movement created “unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes” among minorities. Another proposed change removes any reference to race, sex or religion in talking about how different groups have contributed to the national identity.
- A greater emphasis on “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s.”

- A reduced scope for Latino history and culture.

- Changes in specific terminology. Terms that the board’s conservative majority felt were ideologically loaded are being retired. (The new recommendations stress the need for favorable depictions of America’s economic superiority across the board.)

- A more positive portrayal of Cold War anticommunism. Disgraced anticommunist crusader Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator censured by the Senate for his aggressive targeting of individual citizens and their civil liberties on the basis of their purported ties to the Communist Party, comes in for partial rehabilitation.

- Language that qualifies the legacy of 1960s liberalism. Great Society programs such as Title IX—which provides for equal gender access to educational resources—and affirmative action, intended to remedy historic workplace discrimination against African-Americans, are said to have created adverse “unintended consequences” in the curriculum’s preferred language.

- Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. ... Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs.

- Excision of recent third-party presidential candidates Ralph Nader (from the left) and Ross Perot (from the centrist Reform Party).

- A recommendation to include country and western music among the nation’s important cultural movements.
The popular black genre of hip-hop is being dropped from the same list.

None of these proposals has met with final ratification from the board—that vote will come in May, after a prolonged period of public comment on the recommendations. Still, the conservatives clearly feel like the bulk of their work is done; after the 120-page draft was finalized last Friday, Republican board member Terri Leo declared that it was "world class" and "exceptional."

First paragraphs from New York Times

Headline paragraphs from Yahoo News

It occurs to me that it may be appropriate for some members to have a rather forceful word with their elected representatives - at all levels - about the damage these proposals will cause in the American education system...




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NOTE: This conversation feels like a pro-forum escapee.  Not sure if you all noticed the lack of non-pros in the comment thread until now.

Well as for my views:
  The motives of those trying to push this are definitely self serving.  I for one think that this is appalling if it is accurate.  *I am not one to trust the media for their word as they are full of opinion and they tend to use scare tactics. I tend to take this stuff less seriously without first going to the source.  I wish one of these articles had a reference link to the actually proposal document.*

Either way, assuming this is accurate, then I can only hope the people of Texas realize the damage this could do.  Not only to the education of their children but also as to set precedence for this sort of thing. 

I especially like the part at the end:

"Many other people came to the meeting to support the conservative slate of amendments, including some people enraged at what they saw as socialist tendencies in Washington."

I wonder if they realize that government control of opinions is a socialist trait as well.
Goodhart7 years ago
There are even quite a number of Christians who are fed up with government "1984" style shenanigans  :-( 
 
Did someone call my name?
Not just you, ya know?
 
Kiteman (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
I would assume so.

I suspect there is quite a gap between "christian" and the members of the committee trying to make these changes.
Just wanted to make note that this is not a "Christian" act, but a purely political and power stuggle move on their part.
DJ Radio7 years ago
Thumbs down for the last change.
Agreed.
.  You, of all ppl, should know that there ain't but two kinds of Music ... Country and Western.  The best Country and Western song ever!  (NSFW)
While I'm sure you get this - future students may be taught this. It's a serious issue around what people will "learn" in the future. (And I wouldn't want C&W to be taught without Hip-Hop getting equal coverage at least)

L
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