At Least Its Not Your Schoolboard

Texas Exceptionalism?

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 über-far-right’s 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.

It’s 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.

I guess the dreaded ‘heavy hand of government’ is fine–as long as it’s thumb is on the ‘right’ side of of the scale: erasing truth and changing wingnut myth into ‘history.’  

John Calvin as ‘Founding Father’  Thomas Jefferson, third President and author of the Declaration of Independence?  Not so much:

The Texas Board of Education has been meeting this week to revise its social studies curriculum. During the past three days, “the board’s far-right faction wielded their power to shape lessons on the civil rights movement, the U.S. free enterprise system and hundreds of other topics”:

   – To avoid exposing students to “transvestites, transsexuals and who knows what else,” the Board struck the curriculum’s reference to “sex and gender as social constructs.”

   – The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

   – The Board refused to require that “students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others.”

   – The Board struck the word “democratic” from the description of the U.S. government, instead terming it a “constitutional republic.”

As the nation’s second-largest textbook market, Texas has enormous leverage over publishers, who often “craft their standard textbooks based on the specs of the biggest buyers.” Indeed, as The Washington Monthly has reported, “when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas rarely stays in Texas.”

   [Emphasized incredulity Twitty’s]

Can the rest of the nation force Perry to keep his threat–and secede–via referendum?  Can Colorado amend its Constitution (its not that hard) to refuse to recognize TX as part of the Union? Or can we shift that ‘border fence’ a little further north?  I’m looking for solutions here.

4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. redstateblues says:

    Hey, I learned about Calvin and Jefferson in history class. Maybe the school board thinks that they’re part of the Elect, and if they give space to a deist like Jefferson, they’ll lose their ticket to Calvinist heaven.

    • ClubTwitty says:

      and therein lies the very problem that the astute TX School Board has discerned and, now, mitigated.  

      As long as they can get Google to censor their search engine…since they did it for China.

      In TX they would have to block Jefferson, Latinos in Texas Tecksass history, evolution, climate change, and…and…well…perhaps they should just develop their own search engine too. ‘’ or something. For the kids.

    • RedGreen says:

      But they’re definitely Preterite, no matter how they scramble.  

  2. themonk77 says:

    I think that the story about the text book manufacturers makes this something greater than just yahoos screwing with Texas standard of education.

    But this is not a local squabble or a local issue. It’s not a colorful shoot ’em up in the Texas corral. It so happens that the Texas board is perhaps the most influential in the country. Its guidelines will affect not only the 4.7 million Texas public school students but will likely spread to many other states, from kindergarten to 12th grade for the next 10 years. Texas textbook standards are usually adopted by publishers because the state will buy 48 million of them every year, and many other states — 47 by some counts — will follow that model. In light of those figures, publishers will happily take their cue from the Lone Star State.

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