Saturday, March 13, 2010

Please tell me this is some kind of a joke

Texas Board of Education makes radical cuts to textbooks.

Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic," and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

"We have been about conservatism versus liberalism," said Democrat Mavis Knight of Dallas, explaining her vote against the standards. "We have manipulated strands to insert what we want it to be in the document, regardless as to whether or not it's appropriate."

Following three days of impassioned and acrimonious debate, the board gave preliminary approval to the new standards with a 10-5 party line vote. A final vote is expected in May, after a public comment period that could produce additional amendments and arguments.
Decisions by the board -- made up of lawyers, a dentist and a weekly newspaper publisher among others -- can affect textbook content nationwide because Texas is one of publishers' biggest clients.

Ultraconservatives wielded their power over hundreds of subjects this week, introducing and rejecting amendments on everything from the civil rights movement to global politics. Hostilities flared and prompted a walkout Thursday by one of the board's most prominent Democrats, Mary Helen Berlanga of Corpus Christi, who accused her colleagues of "whitewashing" curriculum standards.

Think Progress has a few of the cuts and/or additions the Board of Education is making:

-To avoid exposing students to “transvestites, transsexuals and who knows what else,” the Board struck the curriculum’s reference to “sex and gender as social constructs.”

– The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

– The Board refused to require that “students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others.”

– The Board struck the word “democratic” from the description of the U.S. government, instead terming it a “constitutional republic.”

Please, Gov. Rick Perry: make good on your thrat and secede from the Union! Just keep your state's fucked-up, whitewash, revisionist view of American history away from our kids!


Anonymous said...

So If you went to school in Houston you know that the third President of the United States was John Calvin.

et said...

Another example of what I like to think of as "Conservative Dissonance" - any attempt to encourage uniform educational standards nationwide is met with gnashing of teeth and wailing of "States' rights, states' rights!" Yet, one state takes on a controlling role in determining the contents of textbooks used across the country, and not a tiny peep!

I'm with you, Jonathan - please, can they secede now and take their revisionist history with them? (No offense intended toward the many, I am sure, thinking people of Texas. I'm sure you'll be given asylum...)

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