Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Silver lining in Those Draconian Texas Education Budget Slashings

Today, while hearing about my local school district’s plan to cut staffing by anywhere between 360 and 1098 positions, I was asking myself if things couldn’t possibly get worse for the local education delivery system (as I like to call it) in this area, and it doesn’t seem like it can, where can it possibly get better?

And later on today, looking at this piece in the Austin American-Statesman, I had my answer.

Texas is among 28 states to receive a failing grade on its U.S. history curriculum for public schools, according to an evaluation by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute being released today. The Washington-based think tank, a nonpartisan group that studies national education trends, gave Texas a D, down from a C in 2003, the last time the group assessed history standards.”
Get it? If the delivery system that is set up to emplace a flawed set of curriculum standards into the minds and hearts of schoolchildren will not be up to that task – because of layoffs and budget cuts, then I guess we win.
The study group found that Texas’ recently adopted social studies curriculum was fraught with political biases, and the whole adoption process exhibited “‘overt hostility and contempt for historians and scholars’ in considering curriculum changes.”

So it’s ironic, then, that where the State Legislature taketh away by denying school districts the funds to teach Texas school children adequately, the State Board of Education giveth by providing a flawed curriculum that the children won’t be learning anytime soon.

Don’t get me wrong. Texas school children will still be ignorant, but at least they won’t be ignorant by design.

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