Texas has become the centerpiece for conservative education and a downward spiral in the fight for a decent education in America. America is on fire with the debate over funding cuts to education. But, there are other issues in education slipping under the radar. Members of the Texas board of education are re-writing history by making sure that their students will be offered a slanted and/or distorted presentation of African Americans and Hispanics contributions to the progress of the U.S….among other lapses in information.
According to the New York Times, last Friday, the Texas Board of Education, in one vote, changed the social studies curriculum to reflect a glorified conservative view of American capitalism and its dominance over every aspect of human development in the world. It is no secret that all right wing conservative philosophies of the republican party are steeped in their strong religious beliefs. Those ideas and principles are reflected in the new curriculum as they question the Founders of this country and their choice to govern a nation with a secular government.
The report states that: “Since January, Republicans on the board have passed more than 100 amendments to the 120-page curriculum standards affecting history, sociology and economics courses from elementary to high school.”
But the buck doesn’t stop there with the “changes” to the textbooks. On the Texas school board, there are no experts in history, sociology or economics, yet these areas were frought with edits they deemed provide “balance.” For instance, Hispanics were excluded from the curriculum in a state where they are prominent in government and have had a major influence in an area where they are prevalent.
The African American involvement was made to include violent movement by the Black Panthers in addition to the non-violent movement of Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement. Democrat Mary Helen Berlanga stormed out of the board meeting saying, “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.”
“They are going overboard, they are not experts, they are not historians,” she said. “They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world.”
What is going to be the outcome if each state begins to mobilize their textbooks and provide seperate cones of information to their students? It sounds like we will be on an expedient road to building the Tower of Babel all over again. What do you think? Should the state board of education control something as important as the curriculum of our students? Shouldn’t we all learn on one accord or will we become a nation of right wing extremists vs. liberals with ideological education teetering on the precipice of great adversity thus civil war?
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