The Texas State Board of Education has been meeting this week to determine standards for curricula (standards with have national implications since they affect textbooks for the entire country).
Read the article and weep for our children. This handful of immature, bullying, bigoted assholes has a ridiculous amount of power, and they’re pushing even more to turn textbooks into hardcopy editions of Conservapedia.
Along with trying to adopt stanards saying that Joe Mccarthy was right all along, to make slavery the third most important cause of the Civil War and to put Jefferson Davis on an equal footing with Abraham Lincoln (which prompted one Democratic member to tell conservatives they could "stick Jefferson Davis’ Inaugural Address where the sun don’t shine), they also tried to make a motion for requiring that Barack Obama’s middle name be added to the standards:
It’s the “grinning” that really gets to me. The asshole was trolling, and he knew he was trolling. It was pure partisan race baiting. These are people who do not take their jobs seriously, or even understand their jobs. They’re nothing but childish, simple-mided political hacks (and racist ones to boot), who don’t care about facts, don’t understand or respect education and have no business having so much pwoer.
You really have to read the whole article to get a sense of the kindergarten tone and obnoxiousness of these douche-nozzles.
Hopefully the smaller states will end up purchasing the textbooks written with the California or New York curricula in mind. I pity the poor children of Texas, though, having their educational standards decided by these bozos.
The problem is that the way those two states organize their textbook processes means that they don’t have as much clout as Texas in the whole procedure.
California can rival Texas in Grades K-8, because the state constitutes a large single market in those grades. But at the high school level, California does not have state-level textbook adoption; it leaves local school districts to decide what books to adopt.
New York is even less likely to form a single market, because it is a non-endorsing state at all levels, leaving local districts free to choose their own books. This doesn’t mean, of course, that New York (or California) has no standards. The schools are still meant to choose books with the state’s Learning Standards in mind. But because there are so many districts, and different people have different ideas about what textbooks should focus on, it’s harder for a publisher to produce a textbook that will appeal to all New York school districts.
With state-level adoption all the way from K through 12, Texas effectively constitutes the largest single market in the country, especially at the high school level. Schools in Texas can choose to go with their own choice for textbooks, rather than use the state adoptions, but if they do, the state will not pay for their books. And how many school districts are going to throw money away like that?
The textbook manufacturers do their best to get on the Texas adoption list, because getting Texas means a huge chunk of guaranteed money. The biggest consequence of all this is not just textbooks that conform to Texas’ idea of history, but textbooks that leave out any controversial or potentially divisive issue. I’ve read hundreds of pages of testimony from Texas textbook adoption hearings, going back 40 years, and the kiss of death for any textbook hoping to be adopted is controversy. The more bland and uncontroversial you can make the book, the more likely you’ll slide through the adoptions process without raising anyone’s ire. It’s pretty depressing.
Texas has its good points. And it helps if you’re a contributing member of the Texas Freedom Network. Look on the bright side (from the OP’s link):
The extreme right wingers have been packing the Board for years, not just replacing Democrats with Republicans, but replacing Republicans with Right Wing Extremist/Young Earth Creationist/Confederate Apologist Republicans. Alas, too many people just don’t pay attention to our School Board elections. But we’ve begun to make a little progress. Don McLeroy, appointed Chair by our Governor Good Hair, lost his bid to be re-appointed. Then lost his bid for renomination–to another Republican who believes in Evolution.
Is that seriously what a serape is? My gf has a poncho sort of thing that she calls her serape (rolling the “r”). Forgive my ignorance; I am from Pennsylvania. The closest I come to Mexicans are the people working the counter at Taco Bell.
Yeah, I don’t mean to sidetrack the conversation, but this happens ALL THE TIME in Kansas and probably other school boards across the country. We get a school board in place who starts trying to take away Evolution from the science books and replace it with intelligent design. Cue Kansas becoming the laughingstock of the nation.
Everyone gets up in arms and we kick those no good school board members out come next election.
And then everyone forgets about it come the next, next election, and those same (or similar) board members are back again and ID goes back on the agenda.
On again, off again, it’s been this way for at least 20 years.
Got friends and cousins who are Texas lefties, and my admiration for them knows no bounds. Change is coming to Texas. Texas is the Saudi Arabia of America, money, power, and a fanatical brand of capitalist wahabbism is burrowed deep into the fabric, and digging it out takes courage, tenacity, and a willful ignorance of the odds against. Happily, Texans specialize in those qualities. Change is coming, and the Pillars of Heaven will get a good hard shaking.
Molly is drinking bourbon with Mark Twain today, having a good laugh. Rest well, good and faithful servant. We won’t rest, we promise.