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shotglass75
03-14-2010, 01:02 PM
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/03/14/texas-conservatives-screw-history/

I recently posted that Don McLeroy, a Texas conservative creationist buffoon on the State School Board of Education, lost his re-election bid. That was good news, but I also warned that in his last months on the BoE, lots of damage could still be done.

Sometimes I hate being right.

In a 10-5 party line vote last week, the BoE rammed through a vast number of changes to the Texas state history standards, all of which conform to the Łber-far-rightís twisted view of reality. In these new standards, Hispanics are ignored, Black Panthers are added to provide balance to the kids learning about Martin Luther King, Jr., and get this, Thomas Jefferson was removed*.

Itís insanity, pure and simple. The absolute and utter denial of reality generally is.

In typical McLeroy nutball fashion, he said:

"We are adding balance," said Dr. Don McLeroy, the leader of the conservative faction on the board, after the vote. "History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left."

"Balance". Feh. As Colbert once said, reality has a well-known liberal bias.

The problem here isnít one of balance, itís of revisionism. As one of the more reality-based members of the BoE said, "They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world." As another example, the new history standards downplays and questions the separation of Church and State. And this was no accident by the religious zealots on the Board; when a more moderate Democrat tried to insert language about why the Establishment Clause was put in the Constitution, it was voted down by the Republicans.

Thereís tons more. And thereís one that totally blows me away. I hope youíre ready for this ó they added apologetics for the McCarthy hearings.

Yes, you read that right. They added to the standards that America was being infiltrated by Communists, and therefore McCarthy was right.

Holy crap.

So, is Texas doomed? Well, I can hope that teachers across the state will see through this sort of revisionist garbage, but I also know that bucking the standards is very difficult for educators, especially when those standards guide how tests are made, both in the schools and in statewide standardized testing.

And even worse, Texas has such a huge school system that textbook publishers will base their books in large part on the Texas standards, and these books will then be sold in other states. So these handful of ultra-conservative rabid far-right lunatics will actually be affecting the way children are taught all over the country. That means my kid. Your kids. All of them.

Congratulations, Texas State Board of Education. And thanks for dragging the rest of us down with your insanity.

jimmycrackcorn
03-14-2010, 01:51 PM
-shaking fist at the sky-

DAMN you right wing religious conservative clones

SoulDischarge
03-14-2010, 02:06 PM
MYGQTZSpoTA

PassiveTheory
03-14-2010, 04:25 PM
It's just fucking Texas, a waste of goddamn space as is*










































*Except for Austin that is.

TomAz
03-14-2010, 05:00 PM
Gee, Lee, describe your personal experiences with other cities. Let's start with Houston.

rskapcat
03-14-2010, 05:05 PM
And Dallas, too.

PassiveTheory
03-14-2010, 06:00 PM
Gee, Lee, describe your personal experiences with other cities. Let's start with Houston.

I think that can wait until we hear Shotglass' personal experiences with the Texas school board. That's much more relevant to what we have at hand.

travolta
03-14-2010, 06:01 PM
LOL what a snot that PassiveTheory is. and FYI it actually is a big deal since that goddamn waste of space Texas is the number 1 buyer of text books in the world. this has potentially huge implications since text books need to be uniform.*

*that last part was actually in the article you most likely failed to read.

PassiveTheory
03-14-2010, 06:09 PM
Hyperbole much?

Texas is the largest textbook buyer in the country, not the world.

Monklish
03-14-2010, 06:18 PM
Yeah guys, they're only the largest buyer of textbooks in the country that's the largest buyer of textbooks in the world. Get it right.

malcolmjamalawesome
03-14-2010, 06:22 PM
I feel this thread's point is escaping Passive.

rage patton
03-14-2010, 06:24 PM
I feel this thread's point is escaping Passive.

There are two ways to read this post and one way is much funnier than the other.

BlackSwan
03-14-2010, 06:43 PM
Aw, this has the potential to get a lot worse.

TomAz
03-14-2010, 07:06 PM
I think that can wait until we hear Shotglass' personal experiences with the Texas school board. That's much more relevant to what we have at hand.

I was talking about what you actually posted. They let you get away with this sort of thinking at Santa Cruz?

roberto73
03-14-2010, 07:10 PM
Tom, it's Santa Cruz. Word has it, their grade reports look something like this:

http://i421.photobucket.com/albums/pp292/rmonty73/400maeby-reportcard.jpg

weeklymix
03-14-2010, 07:48 PM
There's no way this will make it to the state's standardized tests in any form other than a short passage about these matters in the reading comprehension section. Teachers won't be fired for mentioning Thomas Jefferson.

My mom taught for charter schools and in the public school system in Texas and doesn't think this will affect any areas of the state that didn't already teach this shit.

shotglass75
03-14-2010, 07:54 PM
I think that can wait until we hear Shotglass' personal experiences with the Texas school board. That's much more relevant to what we have at hand.


I just thought it was an interesting story.

tessalasset
03-15-2010, 11:56 PM
Tom, it's Santa Cruz. Word has it, their grade reports look something like this:

http://i421.photobucket.com/albums/pp292/rmonty73/400maeby-reportcard.jpg


1. awesome AD reference
2. science makes maeby feel like Elvis?

tessalasset
03-15-2010, 11:58 PM
taken from yahoo news:


The nation’s public school curriculum may be in for a Texas-sized overhaul, if the Lone Star state’s influential recommendations for changes to social studies, economics and history textbooks are fully ratified later this spring. Last Friday, in a 10-to-5 vote split right down party lines, the Texas State Board of Education approved some controversial right-leaning alterations to what most students in the state—and by extension, in much of the rest of the country—will be studying as received historical and social-scientific wisdom. After a public comment period, the board will vote on final recommendations in May.

Don McElroy, who leads the board’s powerful seven-member social conservative bloc, explained that the measure is a way of "adding balance" in the classroom, since "academia is skewed too far to the left." And the board's critics have labeled the move an attempt by political "extremists" to "promote their ideology."

The revised standards have far-reaching implications because Texas is a huge market leader in the school-textbook industry. The enormous print run for Texas textbooks leaves most districts in other states adopting the same course materials, so that the Texas School Board effectively spells out requirements for 80 percent of the nation’s textbook market. That means, for instance, that schools in left-leaning states like Oregon and Vermont could soon be teaching from textbooks that are short on references to Ted Kennedy but long on references to conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.

Here are some of the other signal shifts that the Texas Board endorsed last Friday:

- A greater emphasis on “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s.” This means not only increased favorable mentions of Schlafly, the founder of the antifeminist Eagle Forum, but also more discussion of the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, the National Rifle Association and Newt Gingrich's Contract With America.

- A reduced scope for Latino history and culture. A proposal to expand such material in recognition of Texas’ rapidly growing Hispanic population was defeated in last week’s meetings—provoking one board member, Mary Helen Berlanga, to storm out in protest. "They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist," she said of her conservative colleagues on the board. "They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world."

- Changes in specific terminology. Terms that the board’s conservative majority felt were ideologically loaded are being retired. Hence, “imperialism” as a characterization of America’s modern rise to world power is giving way to “expansionism,” and “capitalism” is being dropped in economic material, in favor of the more positive expression “free market.” (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. The board recommends that textbooks refer to documents published since McCarthy’s death and the fall of the Soviet bloc that appear to show expansive Soviet designs to undermine the U.S. government.

- 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. Among the intellectual forerunners to be highlighted in Jefferson’s place: medieval Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, Puritan theologian John Calvin and conservative British law scholar William Blackstone. 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). Meanwhile, the recommendations include an entry listing Confederate General Stonewall Jackson as a role model for effective leadership, and a statement from Confederate President Jefferson Davis accompanying a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

- 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."

While I don't disagree with the last addition, why does that mean hip-hop needs to be taken out?