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TX Board Adopts New Social Studies Plan

From an outraged Associated Press:

[AP caption:] Board member Ken Mercer votes on an damnedest [sic] during a meeting of the State Board of Education to discuss social studies standards on Friday May 21, 2010 in Austin, Texas.

Texas board adopts new social studies curriculum

By April Castro, Associated Press Writer Sat May 22, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas schoolchildren will be required to learn that the words "separation of church and state" aren’t in the Constitution and evaluate whether the United Nations undermines U.S. sovereignty under new social studies curriculum.

In final votes late Friday, conservatives on the State Board of Education strengthened requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers and required that the U.S. government be referred to as a "constitutional republic" rather than "democratic."

Outrageous!

The board approved the new standards with two 9-5 votes along party lines after months of ideological haggling and debate that drew attention beyond Texas.

Funny, the odd times the AP notices ‘party line’ votes.

The guidelines will be used to teach some 4.8 million students for the next 10 years. They also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on those approved in Texas, though Texas teachers ave [sic] latitude in deciding how to teach the material.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said after the votes Friday that such decisions should be made at the local level and school officials "should keep politics out" of curriculum debates.

"Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum," Duncan said in a statement…

Good one!

The board attempted to make more than 200 amendments this week, reshaping draft standards that had been prepared over the last year and a half by expert groups of teachers and professors.

As new amendments were being presented just moments before the vote, Democrats bristled that the changes had not been vetted.

"I will not be part of the vote that’s going to support this kind of history," said Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat.

At least one state lawmaker vowed legislative action to "rein in" the board.

"I am disturbed that a majority of the board decided their own political agendas were more important than the education of Texas children," said Rep. Mike Villarreal, a San Antonio Democrat.

We certainly can’t have that. Not in the schools.

In one of the most significant curriculum changes, the board diluted the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, noting that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring students to compare and contrast the judicial language with the First Amendment’s wording

Gosh, how outlandish.

The board rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D. …

“Modernize.”

[A]nd agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty

This is too much.

Educators have blasted the curriculum proposals for politicizing education. Teachers also have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than learning to critically think.

Testify!

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “TX Board Adopts New Social Studies Plan”

  1. bousquem

    I saw what most of the changes that had the left up in arms about and I don’t have a problem with them. History books should talk about the rise of Regan. Also the change from “imperialism” to “expansionism” when talking about the move westward across the US by settlers and the broaching of the topic that the seperation of church and state was an idea not a law in the consititution, or at least not a far as the left has taken thing at this point.

  2. TwilightZoned

    “In one of the most significant curriculum changes, the board diluted the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, noting that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring students to compare and contrast the judicial language with the First Amendment’s wording…”

    Comparing/contrasting is one element of critical thinking as well as evaluate…”They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty…” So lack of critical thinking just ‘ain’t’ so.

    “I am disturbed that a majority of the board decided their own political agendas were more important than the education of Texas children,” said Rep. Mike Villarreal, a San Antonio Democrat.

    If this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black I don’t know what is.

    All I can say is God bless Texas!!!

  3. proreason

    The Texas State Board of Education should prepare their jail dop kits.

    They will be needing them soom.

  4. canary

    They are also having a nasty heated argument on whether to put Obama’s middle name Hussein in their Social Study Books. Some on the board just think it’s mean & cruel to Obama’s middle name. I think they decided they will put his middle name. Good grief it’s historical for the USA to have the first muslim U.S. President. It is significant to put his full name.

  5. Mithrandir

    WHEN are schools going to teach THE FEDERALIST PAPERS in school? In 12 years of public school, and probably 4 years of college, did you EVER study these documents? I doubt it. It’s because when liberals change the Constitution and its so-called “intent” no one will know the real authors’ intent, so they hide it.

    They started using B.C.E. and C.E. in class when i was in college, and I asked my professor “Why change this, what difference does it make?” Of course I was given the usual nonsensical answer, “Because this is a more common understanding.” –what? What the heck does that mean? –stupid!

  6. joeblough

    If the union teachers hate it it can’t be all bad.

    The constitutional republic thing is brilliant and loooooooong overdue.

    What’s the business about Jefferson? Are we expected to think he wasn’t “an influential political philosopher”?

    Where can one find the details on the whole package?

    • canary

      Whether Obama learned it in school or came up with his b.s. on his own, Obama said Jefferson was against a nation under God. That Jefferson had a Koran in his office library. Obama left out Jefferson’s library was filled with books on Christianity, and he only had a Koran to figure out what drove these mad man muslims into butchering a slaughtering ever ship they came across.

  7. sheehanjihad

    This is a classic case of the liberals’ “do as we say, not as we do”. This is appearing all over the political spectrum, and I enjoy seeing the left getting a face full of their own strategies for once. The louder they scream, the more I like it. With our country being withered from within by the infection known as our Government, it’s just nice to see the left blind sided by conservative values and little they can do about it. Until they legislate new rules. Which is what they accused Bush of doing. But it’s ok when they do it? pay no attention to the pus filled boil behind the curtain.

  8. EvaTheFrisbeeDog

    Makes me proud to be a Texan.

  9. wardmama4

    Notice how when the Left wants something – it is ‘the majority of Americans want this’ – or some similar bs statement. But when a conservative (or in this case pretty much sounding like leaving the books as they were) (real) majority wins – it is ‘a political agenda’. In this case the majority (Yes TX school board I graduated from a decent HS and can identify that 9 is a larger number and a larger percentage of 14 than 5 is) voted upon the exact same issues/questions and won. Apparently since the board is 9 to 5 conservative that must mean that the majority of TX is conservative to be able to win the majority of seats on the TX school board. Thus in reality this decision is indeed, what the majority of Texans wanted.

    I cannot grasp (other than the eventual election of people with no clue at all such a Reid, Pelosi, Franken and of course Obama) as to why anyone would want facts and critical thinking removed from textbooks – other than – it is ‘a political agenda.’

    So centuries of identifying time periods suddenly comes down to ‘common understanding’ – What a crock, I would think that BC and AD would be much more common and understood. But hey what do I know, I’m educated!

  10. Tadpole

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said after the votes Friday that such decisions should be made at the local level and school officials “should keep politics out” of curriculum debates.

    “Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum,” Duncan said in a statement…

    Great idea, Arne – so, tell me again why we need the NEA and a US Education Secretary…

  11. Petronius

    Our youngest daughter’s textbook was probably representative of the poison that passes for US history these days.

    Her textbook was “Give Me Liberty!” by Eric Foner, Columbia University professor and red-diaper baby. Interestingly, television news programs currently employ Foner as an analyst of the Texas schoolbook controversy.

    Bernie Goldberg ranked Foner #75 among the “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America” (2005). David Horowitz described Foner bluntly as “an anti-American sixties radical [who] as a historian is an apologist for American Communism.” Liberal historian John Diggins described Foner as “an unabashed apologist for the Soviet system and an unforgiving historian of America.” Theodore Draper described Foner’s books as attempts “to rehabilitate American Communism.” (“The Professors,” 177-179.)

    In Foner’s text everything that was good and uplifting about America is ignored, minimized, belittled, or discredited. All that arguably was not good is magnified and scrutinized.

    British America’s shortcomings are emphasized, while those of other peoples are ignored or forgiven.

    The only mention of the Mayflower Pilgrims is contained in a small sidebar that is devoted almost entirely to Squanto.

    George Washington is mentioned only twice, once as a slaveholder, and again briefly. With the notable exception of the radical pamphleteer Thomas Paine, the American Revolution receives short shrift, as do the founders.

    The heroic age of the American frontier is completely ignored, as are our pioneer heroes such as Sir William Johnson, Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, John Sevier, James Robertson, George Rogers Clark, Sam Houston, et al.

    Foner’s book allocates prodigious space to slavery, much of it pretty horrific, like reading a Toni Morrison novel. Foner’s coverage of the Old South, the Civil War, and the Confederacy is particularly venomous. If memory serves, he devotes two entire chapters to Jim Crow and the KKK.

    Of course there are also the obligatory chapters on abuse of the Indians by evil white male settlers, the women’s struggle against evil white male oppressors, the workers’ struggle against evil white male capitalists, the struggle of immigrants against the usual suspects, yadda, yadda yadda. As Draper noted, “From [Foner’s] account it would be hard to understand why so many millions of immigrants should have come to the United States for more freedom.”

    Finally one chapter is devoted mainly to trashing Senator Joe McCarthy (who outed Foner’s parents) and whitewashing communism and the Rosenbergs.

    The purpose of such teaching is to turn the hearts and minds of our children against America and against their heritage. Is it any wonder that our children don’t want to study history any more?

    Such teachings are part of an across-the-board struggle that impinges on every aspect of our existence.

    • proreason

      The communist takeover of education is the biggest problem of all.

      For the moment at least, telecommunications is still free. Hence the emergence of Fox News and the blogosphere.

      But the vast majority of Americans cannot afford private education and are incapable of instructing their children themselves.

      Young minds are very easy to influence, particularly in areas that parents’ cede to educators. History and math are the primary areas where parents take little interest. Math, at least, is apolitical, although I’m sure the marxists are working like beavers to politicize it.

      Every rational parent should read their childrens textbooks. Not all are radical, but when they are, it’s the parents obligation to take immediate action. If that means pulling the kid out of school, they should make that sacrifice.




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