Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Texas SBOE: Rewriting American History for Teabaggers

Hold on to your hats, the Texas State Board of Education, with its socially conservative agenda still intact, is reconvening to decide what sorts of things Texas school children should be taught about our society, history and government.

In other words, they get to decide what children will be taught about who we, as a people, are.

Now given how we were treated to hours upon endless hours of testimony and discussion on how things like evolution (a biological principle, not a theory) and geology (anathema to young Earth creationists) are really just some peoples’ opinions and not established or accepted fact, this should be a discussion to be watched and kept in the open.

And truly, it’s a national issue, not just state and local. Textbook publishers have, in the past, based their content on Texas standards because Texas has bought textbooks in statewide adoptions. Although, according to this story, that may soon be a thing of the past.

When the board last met in its first reading of the curriculum change, they weren’t able to get to all of the changes and amendments submitted by the social conservatives on the board. Amendments submitted by non-educators without even checking with a host of educators and scholars who were there for that purpose.

After all, why waste time with the facts when promoting a far right religious and social agenda? Facts often get in the way of things, you know.

Take for example, the amendment offered by Geraldine “Tincy” Miller representing the 12th District. Miller sells real estate. This amendment was one that the board got to vote on in January.

Tincy Miller suggested that the name Delores Huerta be stricken from required reading in the 3rd grade curriculum. Huerta is a co-founder of the United Farm Workers and is listed as one of the 100 most influential women of the 20th century. Schools are named after Huerta. Yet Miller claims that she did not exemplify good citizenship because she was registered in California as a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Party. Yes she was. She was also Hispanic, I hear. The hypocrisy of the woman is explosive. She cites Helen Keller as much more deserving of being included in the curriculum.

Keller was a flaming socialist.

Nevertheless Huerta was removed from history by an 11 to 7 vote.

It gets worse. Dr. Don McLeroy, former board chairman and now soon to be ex-board member (he lost his candidacy in the Republican primary) thought that it would be a good idea to include a discussion of the Venona Papers – a government document citing Soviet infiltration into some parts of the federal government – should be included as it vindicated disgraced Senator Joe McCarthy, whose agenda, which came to be known as McCarthyism, was a black mark on American political and democratic traditions.

I find it a horror, and an offense to my sensibilities that the state school board has an agenda to vindicate who is arguably the worst political demagogue of the 20th century.

So get ready for a real howl-fest in Austin as non-historians and social conservatives act to rewrite history so that Texas school children can be educated in true Teabagger tradition.

I am characteristically pessimistic at the outcome here.


Anonymous said...

Just that Texas is going blue in 2010 (correct?) the Dems can soon fix this madness.

Hal said...

Oh Chris Calvin, can you please just shut up?

I have noticed that you have not left a comment on Pete Olson's No vote on the abuse of children in our schools. That is a noticeable ommission. Care to say why you have no comment on that issue?

Gutless wonder.

Anonymous said...

Red state science cartoon -