Sunday, November 23, 2014

Textbooks In Texas

The Texas State Board of Education has been at it again. On Friday they adopted 89 textbooks and classroom software products to replace those being used in Texas classrooms today.  These books were written to meet the ridiculous changes that the SBOE passed in Texas social studies standards in 2010 (the whitewashing of history, basically, because what we all need in our social studies classes is More Dead White Guys, right?).

Some of the problems that actual social studies experts criticized in the new textbooks include:

  • An emphasis on Biblical figures as influences on the founding fathers that is basically fiction (there are actual letters between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson stating that this was not true)
  • Material that undermines the separation of Church and State
  • Scant attention to the role conquest played in humanity's migrations
  • Negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims
  • A downplaying of the role of slavery as a cause of the Civil War, although this was reported to be fixed
  • A political distortion of climate science that casts doubt on human contribution to climate change.

All of the Republicans on the SBOE voted to adopt the new textbooks and all of the Democrats voted not to adopt them.

I am so tired of Republicans trying to re-write history, undermine science and dumb down our children so they can be obedient little cogs in the corporate machine.  Make sure, Mamas, that you teach social studies at home, so that your children continue to learn how to truly critique social, political and economic systems and not just how to drink the Kool-Aid.

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