Author Options:

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 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...


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.

There are even quite a number of Christians who are fed up with government "1984" style shenanigans  :-( 

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.

Thumbs down for the last change.

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)


Without comment on the others, Nader and Perot are lunatics and are no more deserving than any other fringe political candidate.

Quite true, but they both had significant (and largely detrimental, IMO) impacts on their respective Presidential elections, so blotting them off the record entirely only increases the chance of the same issues recurring in future elections.

This is as messed up as teaching Intelligent Design in the science classroom.

 This is actually a whole lot worse, it is one thing to deny scientific fact but it is another to spin history and blot out important events. Scientific facts can always be found again due to them being easily reproduced but when history is forgotten, it is much harder to find it again.

Even worse,  if history is forgotten,  there is more chance of "repeating it"  !!!!

Empire crashes FTW !

.  Please don't judge all of us by the actions of a (very) few. There has been plenty of news coverage here in the US and the majority of We The People are not happy.
.  The chair of the BoE has NOT been re-elected. Although his last act will be far-reaching, it is not permanent. His deeds will only end up costing the state of TX (and other states that base their book buying on TX recommendations) a lot of money replacing/supplementing the books.

I'm not tarring with the same brush, or even accusing any but the members of the committee concerned.

But, I was guessing that a lot of US members had missed this.

After all, all, a good man need do nothing to let evil triumph.

Or something like that.

.  Sorry about that. I was being a little over dramatic. :)
.  Most certainly shine your light on Evil whenever you find it lurking in the shadows.
.  Keep in mind that TX is a BIG place and, like all large populations, a few kooks get elected every now and then. They are usually not re-elected (but not always heehee).
.  I can't believe I said something defending TX. Wooooo pig sooie!  :)

That video kind of says it all I suppose


Oh, a lot of those were already in effect during the time of my upbringing.
And look at me now! I turned out a lot better than all you filthy heathen! ^_^

Yechh, all the worst parts of my education trickling into one BoE's agenda. I'm glad I don't live there.

Having brought this to your attention, I think this very bad. I stick with Jefferson, and this is anti-Jefferson in more than one way. Parts of the US worry me, I'm glad I don't live there.
Impartiality is important, schools should not be politicised