Thin edge of the wedge in Texan education? Answered
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 , 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 , 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 (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...