Saturday, March 20, 2010

Texas whackjobs and the death of American education

The more I read about this situation the angrier I get. It is just beyond me who decided that we would put the future of our children's education n the hands of such a small and extreme group of fundamentalists.  The Texas school board has an undue amount of power when it comes to textbook publishing, and it has made the decision to rid history books of any trace of Thomas Jefferson. 

That's right.  They've decided it that they would remove Thomas Jefferson altogether because of his support of a divided church and state.  I mean yes, I agree that Jefferson had his issues, particularly with one Sally Hemmings, but he was instrumental to the founding of our nation and to have a our kids not learn about him in school is a crime.  These whackjobs in Texas have edited out the civil rights movement, slavery, the suffragettes, Japanese internment and a multitude of other events that are essential to our understanding of Americaness.  What's more they have chosen none other than that raging alcoholic congressman, Mr Joseph McCarthy, to raise to the status of American hero for his efforts against the Commies.   

What makes this situation worse is that what happens with the Texas school board effects what goes into textbooks elsewhere, as textbook publishers have to conform to their standards in order to reach the massive Texas textbook market.  Also, because of the California budget deficit, California's larger textbook market has far less sway on the textbooks as they have had to put off ordering new books until 2014.  Because Texas is such large market, textbook makers are more likely to make their books conform to its standards and then sell them unchanged in other states as well.  Essentially the Texas school board has doomed many of our children to an ignorance when it comes to the history of the United States.  They are literally changing American history to fit their far-right wing agenda with no regards for the true sequence of events that make our nation's history.  We can only hope that these changes can be undone in the near future and Texas' and the nation's children can get off of this path can only lead to more ignorant close minded citizens.


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