Friday, January 15, 2010

Texas SBOE Debates the Dismantling of Social Studies Education in Texas

Making good on their threat to meet and debate a complete re-write of American history, the Texas State Board of Education sat down yesterday and did just that. Mercifully, their neoconservative agenda was so packed that they completely ran out of time and had to postpone continuation of the debate until their next meeting in March, when debate will continue, for a now-delayed vote of final approval, now to occur in May.

I have perused the liveblogging by members of the Texas Freedom Network as they report on the highlights of the debate, these can be found here, and can only conclude that future Texas public school students are going to have some irreparable harm done to them as they are treated to year after year of revisionist history – history that any neoconservative evangelical would want to impose on young impressionable minds thus guaranteeing a steady supply of Texas Teabaggers into the middle of the century.

It brings to mind a quotation that I remember from George Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984,” an alarming futurecast of society ruled by a government whose sole purpose was to maintain power by completely controlling all information.
“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'”

Like for instance how Margaret Sanger, a nurse who spearheaded the American birth control movement that ultimately became Planned Parenthood, never did anything at all, and in fact, never actually existed.

Like for instance how America’s imperialist period, essentially mimicking the imperialism of European countries at that time, was not really imperialism. Don McLeroy wants to call it “expansionism.” I can get with that, really, but I would prefer that we use the older word that described the activity, older and therefore has senior status: the older term is Liebensraum (Hitler, A, 1925).

Like for instance how students should be taught that government regulation and taxation are bad for the economy – rewriting the accomplishments of Roosevelt’s New Deal policies – which were actually bad for the country, very bad.

Like how Barbara Cargill wants to include Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address as president of the CSA. My guess is that this is to let future 8th grade students in on the rumor that the South was justified in seceding from the Union and that the North was the oppressor when they mounted a counter measure that became known, here, as the War of the Northern Aggression.

In short, it would appear that the neocons on the Texas state school board are engaged in an all out war for the minds of Texas youth. A war to fill their heads with lint and pocket fluff, and limit their exposure to things like “multiculturalism” and “globalization” as well as past injustices (like slavery and genocide).

Another two quotes from Orwell’s book come to mind, ones that I believe should be cast in bronze and mounted on the wall in the school board meeting room:
“Ignorance is Strength”

“Freedom is Slavery”
Because if the school board’s conservatives get their way, we are going to raise a new generation of children who are strong and free.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This state is becoming more and more repressive and out of touch---I have to move as I have been mulling over in my mind for awhile now!