Texas has just officially doomed generations of their children to ignorance and being oddities in their grasp of history and reality…because neither of those items supported the political views of conservatives and Republicans.

I normally keep my quotes to a minimum but there is so much outrageousness here, I couldn’t pare it down:

From the NY Times:

Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change

By James C. Mckinley Jr.
March 12, 2010

After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.

Efforts by Hispanic board members to include more Latino figures as role models for the state’s large Hispanic population were consistently defeated, prompting one member, Mary Helen Berlanga, to storm out of a meeting late Thursday night, 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.”

There are seven members of the conservative bloc on the board, but they are often joined by one of the other three Republicans on crucial votes. There were no historians, sociologists or economists consulted at the meetings, though some members of the conservative bloc held themselves out as experts on certain topics.

“I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state,” said David Bradley, a conservative from Beaumont who works in real estate. “I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”

They also included a plank to ensure that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”

Dr. McLeroy, a dentist by training, pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement to ensure that students study the violent philosophy of the Black Panthers in addition to the nonviolent approach of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also made sure that textbooks would mention the votes in Congress on civil rights legislation, which Republicans supported.

“Republicans need a little credit for that,” he said. “I think it’s going to surprise some students.”

Mr. Bradley won approval for an amendment saying students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation. He also won approval for an amendment stressing that Germans and Italians as well as Japanese were interned in the United States during World War II, to counter the idea that the internment of Japanese was motivated by racism.

Other changes seem aimed at tamping down criticism of the right. Conservatives passed one amendment, for instance, requiring that the history of McCarthyism include “how the later release of the Venona papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government.” The Venona papers were transcripts of some 3,000 communications between the Soviet Union and its agents in the United States.

In economics, the revisions add Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek, two champions of free-market economic theory, among the usual list of economists to be studied, like Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. They also replaced the word “capitalism” throughout their texts with the “free-enterprise system.”

“Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation,” said one conservative member, Terri Leo. “You know, ‘capitalist pig!’ ”

In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.

“The topic of sociology tends to blame society for everything,” Ms. Cargill said.

Even the course on world history did not escape the board’s scalpel.

Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)

“The Enlightenment was not the only philosophy on which these revolutions were based,” Ms. Dunbar said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13texas.html?scp=1&sq=texas%20education&st=cse

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choicelady
Member

Oh someone PLEASE tell me this picture is photo shopped!!!!

PLEASE!

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KQµårk 死神
Member

Photoshop or some kind of setup I hope as well.

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PatsyT
Member

Well has anyone brought this up ? –
Time for the Churches to pay TAXES !

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choicelady
Member

Hang on – they are simply NON profits guided by the same rules as the Red Cross or Common Cause. There are strict guidelines, and when churches cross that line, they should indeed pay taxes. But they get their exempt status for doing the things YOU want them to do – feed the hungry, provide a myriad of services (health ministries are often the ONLY health care communities of color have), offer money to those in need, sometimes provide shelter, counseling, clothing, whatever. If you make churches pay taxes, what about all the other non-profits? United Way got in hot water for paying its national CEO nearly $500,000. Should they NOT be tax exempt?

Churches DO pay taxes on any activities such as renting space to other groups, etc.

They are forbidden from partisan politics, but ALL churches, progressives, too, can and do get involved in NON partisan action. Perfectly legal and if you tax conservative churches. you have to tax the progressive ones as well.

So think this over – it’s such a thoughtless reflexive response. No it is NOT the time for churches to pay taxes as a blanket statement. It IS time to make sure churches obey the existing laws and that they are neither partisan nor exceeding the advocacy guidelines of 5% of total income for advocacy.

My organization exists as a c-3 (education that is tax deductible) and a c-4 (that DOES pay some taxes and that does advocacy but without donations being tax deductible for the donors.) If churches exceed their allotted limits, fine. But do this on a case by case basis.

Churches overall help their communities, and you really would NOT like to do without them. You especially would not like to do without the churches in our organization that are not only fighting for economic and social justice, against racism and for equity, fighting to abolish the death penalty and have criminal justice reform, fighting against poverty and hunger, against torture and governmental abuses of power, fighting FOR civil rights, etc. We are the “Social Gospel” churches Glenn Beck hates – so you REALLY want to end our tax-exempt status?????

Don’t make me worry about my allies along with Beck, please!

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KQµårk 死神
Member

I agree with you choice lady. Churches who follow proper non profit charters should remain tax exempt. They just need to be monitored more closely to make sure they are not partisan politically speaking. Under Bush I’ve seen instances were some churches have become partisan but they are the exceptions. Of course it’s a fine line because we know how the far right has tried to blur the lines between church and state but it would be just as wrong to penalize all churches for the acts of a few.

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choicelady
Member

We monitored this closely after 2004 because one of our member congregations came under IRS fire since the vicar emeritus had given a sermon saying people of faith should review ALL candidates’ positions on war. He excoriated both Bush AND Kerry for supporting the Iraq war and took NO sides. Well, some turkey who wasn’t there told the IRS about it, claiming “peace” was partisan, and they got investigated. Now, mind you, the churches that told their members they HAD to vote for Bush or die, were NOT investigated.

We are non-partisan, and we are careful to tell our congregations that they may do non-partisan advocacy only up to 5% of their budgets (as if they could spend that much!) so we do it FOR them. Our c-4 is NOT tax exempt nor are donations deductible.

We believe utterly in the separation of church and state though not the right of people to speak from a faith point of view. BIG difference. But man oh man do we opposed this Texas style infusion of religion INTO curriculum!!! That is just plain wrong.

And whose religion, by the way? I’d like to see how these bozos would do if it were CATHOLICS doing this!!!

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FrankenPC
Member

Yeah, I came to the same conclusion about a year ago during some moronic debate on HP. If the Church want’s to screw with our kids minds, our laws and rights, then they need to be treated as corporations and taxed. Nothing would terrify them more than having to pay taxes.

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javaz
Member

In both our local papers, The Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune, there are articles about improving education in this country and listing the US behind other countries in math and science.

Today, Washington is so focused on expanding the size and influence of our federal government at the expense of taxpayers that they are overlooking one of the greatest security risks facing our nation – our failing education system.

Our broken education system is failing America’s children while countries around the world, our own global competitors, are making dramatic strides in educating their future work forces.

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/151771

The New York Times has an article about President Obama calling for major changes in education, specifically No Child Left Behind –

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/education/14child.html?pagewanted=2&sq=governors%20meet%20on%20education%20reform&st=cse&scp=1

I am hoping with all the talks about improving education that it will render this ignorant, idiotic revisionist history in Texas useless and that it will never happen.
Changing history will not allow our children to compete globally.

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SueInCa
Member

Has anybody here read “A People’s History” by Howard Zinn? I am reading it online now. I had never heard of it until I saw the story on Link TV about Zinn’s history.

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PatsyT
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SueInCa
Member

If I still had children in school and I found out this is what they were teaching, my children would not return until things change. If another parent does it, then another, then another. Pretty soon only the right is in school and there would be maybe 10 or 12 students per class not enough to qualify for federal funding. They would change their minds pretty fast.

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

Sue, here in New England parents are very involved with the school system and all it takes is a group of well informed parents in each district to stop this travesty.

There are two ways to stop this, 1.) Your way, which will really get the attention of School Board and 2.) The parents demand that the School Board buy correct text books.

Parents here are already demanding to get rid of No Child Left Behind because it has already lowered the level of education in some districts in order to comply, SAT and PSAT scores have been suffering. Teachers now test instead of Teach. Private Tutoring schools are making a mint in this area, (NY,CT, MA, NJ), because of this, a lot of good Teachers are leaving and going in to the private sector.

Everyone here reads the NYT’s, since we are so close to NY and most residents commute into the city, and I am sure that this will be brought up at the next PTA and School Board meeting in my area….all we need is some pinko/commie/liberal/progress parent to get the ball rolling!! 🙂

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SueInCa
Member

Then tell them to get the lead out. I am sure they will prevail there. I just hope parents all over are outraged at this.

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boomer1949
Member

Sue,

My daughter who has taught for 7+ years and has $26k in student loans is incredibly burned out and considering working in the private sector.

And, I agree with you. If these folks want such a stringent curriculum, then it should be funded privately, like any other Christian, Parochial, Hebrew, Muslim, Hindi school. No Federal Subsidies of any kind — folks you’re on your own.

I think it’s called separation of Church and State?

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bito
Member

boomer, separation of church and state? What the hell are you talking about?
From the meeting:

12:28

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boomer1949
Member

bito,

I hope you’re being sarcastic. 🙂

We’re talking Fundamentalism here. RW, Christian, Bible-thumping, TBN believers. Trust me, I used to be one of them thar critters (‘cept I was a Democrat). How scary is that?

Both my kids attended Parochial school (1-12), one even through 4.5 years of Catholic university. Their father and I paid for it, and one had $26k in student loans. She is the 7 year veteran Kindergarten educator and the one who graduated from Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. She is also the warmer and fuzzier of our two. However…and
regardless of what was presented to either of them in the classroom, we tempered the information they received with what we believed. In doing so, we gave each of them the right to choose what path to take. We have a 37 year old daughter who is a staunch Catholic, yet left of center, and a 30 year old Catholic-Methodist convert (the teacher btw) who couldn’t swallow the hippo-critters in the RCC.

As I stated before, it remains a separation of church and state.

If the majority of the Texas State Board of Education wants their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren raised in a particular environment, with specific book larnin’ content, then it is their responsibility, not the State’s, to foot the bill.

Moreover, the decision of the State Board should have a permanent impact on any monetary income the state receives from the Federal Government. I certainly don’t want my taxes paying for biased, RW textbooks.

If I were living in Texas, with kids in public school, I’d either pull them out to home school, attend Parochial school, or move out of the state altogether.

Somewhere deep, this is a Civil Rights issue and it makes me want to throw up.

I used to be in this place(see link below), and sometimes I watch just to remind myself I’m not as crazy as I think I am. Spend an hour or so and listen to the message — people actually believe this stuff — literally — and the Texas State Board of Education is no exception:

http://www.tbn.org/

boomer

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bito
Member

boomer I was just saying that that was what the board decided. If you read through that blog, it gets pretty crazy.
Replace T. Jefferson with Calvin! They didn’t just change history texts they did sociology, psychology, economics…..texts.

Take a glance at the ideology replacing knowledge.

11:42

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boomer1949
Member

bito,

Apologies for going off on a tangent. The circumstances and entire story put a bee in my bonnet this afternoon (no offense AdLib).

Having witnessed what my daughter has experienced during her professional career has made me extremely sensitive to the way the teaching profession is valued in this country. And, to have a State Board of Education “preach” what should/should not be in textbooks (especially when none of them are educators)totally frosts my behind.

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SueInCa
Member

Boomer
When my brother graduated and started teaching, CA had a program that for every year you taught in a rural district, a certain amount of your student loan would be written off.

It is a huge burden to teach on their salaries and pay off such substantial loans.

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boomer1949
Member

Sue,

The kid has been in a low income district long enough to have a portion of her student loans forgiven. That said, the loan thing had absolutely nothing to do with her decision to teach in the district.

Five yos and literacy have always been at the top of her agenda.

boomer

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bito
Member

Here is a running account of the Texas Bored of Misinformation including the amendments,debates and votes on the various subjects.Oddly most of the votes I saw were either 10-5 or 5-10. 🙂 (Hint: there are 10 R’s on the board.)
The blog was done by: Texas Freedom Network–The Mainstream Voce to Counter the Religious Right”
Some quotes I liked:

But board member Terri Leo says she wants the traditional dating approach:

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boomer1949
Member

bito,

😆 😆

Texas Bored of Misinformation

You made my Sunday afternoon! 😆 😆

boomer

PS — Happy Daylight Saving Time Y’all Who Must Participate — pretty much sucks, eh? 😯

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bito
Member

Adlib, you could take just the quotes in this and have an instant parody.

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bito
Member

Oh there are some jewels in here:

Blogging the Social Studies Debate V
By TFN

12:55

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SueInCa
Member

Patsy Cline said it best…………..CRAZY

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bito
Member

That’s quite the account of the meetings, eh ,Sue?

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SueInCa
Member

Yeah, there are way too many of these feaks running around this country

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Chernynkaya
Member

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/opinion/14pubed.html

This is a very interesting article from the NYT

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SueInCa
Member

Christianists, I like that word

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Chernynkaya
Member

Thanks, Adlib

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KQµårk 死神
Member

I’m glad they are spotlighting this true outrage. You know me I don’t fall into the constant outrage trap but this really is nuts. They are effectively directing schools to lie to kids about our history.

I actually live in the county in GA that put those bloody “evolution is just one theory” stickers on HS Biology text books.

http://www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/textbookdisclaimers/CobbDisclaimer.jpg

This is much much worse

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FrankenPC
Member

I know I’m just being paranoid…but it almost seems as if Texas is building a standing army. What better way to garner followers than to dumb down an entire generation.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

This is exactly the root of our problems in this country. Too many young people’s minds are etched with a history of America that was not true. Marion and I talked about about our different educational experiences before because I had a very liberal NJ education and Marion had a very misleading education in history like my wife. My wife and Marion describe a history book they had in junior high where they described slaves in pictures and descriptions as being well fed and pampered which we all know was complete bullshit. Not to mention how a Southern education in history blames the Civil War on the North.

So when some people who don’t bother to realize the true American history they believe in bullshit like American Exceptionalism. Obviously based on the description of this history curriculum this school district is even worse. So some of these children will grow up believing the delusional interpretation of America conservative politicians will feed them.

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FrankenPC
Member

Actually, the same thing happened to me when I was in elementary school. The “hippies” had rewritten the account of the war on Japan to make it look like dropping the warheads was not at all necessary. All part of the post 3 mile island incident that freaked everyone out. That and the ongoing cold war of course.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

You know we did not cover WWI or WWII much at all. We covered the Americans Revolution, slavery, the Civil War (but very little about the battles), reconstruction, western expansion and native Americans the most. We also studied the industrial revolution and the Great Depression a little. In fact we weren’t taught much about the 20th century and very little about the conduct of wars, probably because I went to HS just after the Vietnam War ended.

The biggest insight we learned about war was from a teacher who was a Vietnam vet who shared some of his personal experiences. Since he was educated he was the one assigned to write letters home for soldiers that had died in action. I still remember some experiences he shared. One soldier he had to write home about was on point and because the point man was usual so close to the enemy he used a shotgun. This soldier ended up waiving the butt end of his shotgun at roosters that got in their way. One rooster while defending himself reached up and pulled the trigger. What a way to go huh?

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Pepe Lepew
Member

In Montana, they have a program called “Indian Education for All.” It mandates that Indian history is taught from an *Indian* perspective, which means texts written by Indians, talks by Tribal members. You can imagine it drives the wingers *nuts*, but it’s a really good, progressive idea.

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Pepe Lepew
Member

My sister is a special ed teacher and this story just got to be so disheartening for her.

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boomer1949
Member

I just sent this to my daughter, the Kindergarten teacher. I know it will bother her as well.

Come Experience Texas Pride — Ignorance!

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Khirad
Member

The anti-teacher trolls were out in force. It was making my blood boil the things they say about teachers.

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Pepe Lepew
Member

Yup, they like to go after the teachers’ union in particular.

I just see it as all part of the anti-education, anti-science mentality of the right wing.

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Kalima
Admin

As far as I know Texas is still a part of the United States, unless of course I fell asleep and woke up in another lifetime.

I can’t fathom how a state could have so much power over things as important as education, especially the history of your country. The Fundies write their own version of the Bible and this lot of elected crackpots are allowed to rewrite history and teach their version in schools?

Something is not right in your system if this is the norm, something besides history needs to be rewritten and reformed in your laws and legislations. It’s a regular free for all, with far too many cooks spoiling the broth. My mind boggles.

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SueInCa
Member

Kalima
So do our minds boggle over things like this here in the US

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kesmarn
Admin

This is so utterly, utterly disheartening. We–or at least parts of this country–are actually going in reverse. Parents should remove their kids from these school systems. This is Republican brain washing–pure and simple. It’s time for people on the left in Texas to home school their kids, because there is no possible way they could do worse than these venal simpletons. Playing along with the subversion of one’s own child’s mind is just not on!

Granted it’s almost 3 a.m. and I’m super tired after a grueling shift but…I’m bummed. Pepe–please–go to the next scheduled Texas board of education meeting and spray to your heart’s content. You’ll only improve the atmosphere.

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Pepe Lepew
Member

I’m a-loading up the glands….

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Chernynkaya
Member

Kes if you are still here, I don’t want you to go to bed so bummed. Big Dog Mom’s comments below were encouraging to me.

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BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

Night all, having trouble staying awake, have no fight left in me tonight, all I can do is pray that good will triumph evil…take care everyone.

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SueInCa
Member

Well it is time to say good night. I was up early this morning and I am getting sleepy. Have a good one

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Khirad
Member

Goodnight, Sue.

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BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

Night Sue, looking forward to your second installment. Still trying to figure out why 1/3 of my Mother’s family went towards the CR and the others didn’t….sleep well.

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