Texas State Board Of Education

The Triumph Of Science Over Ignorance In Texas

Great news that the Texas State Board of Education has voted to approve science textbooks based on established science for the next decade, a massive victory over the forces of ignorance which attempted to promote religion in place of science in the curriculum, and wanted to deny the facts of evolution and global warming and climate change.

Since Texas has such a large student population, the decisions of the state board have a great effect not only on the Lone Star State, but also on the textbook materials used across the nation, as publishers shape their editorial plans on what Texas does.

But now the influence of the religious Right is still threatened over the teaching of Social Studies, including the study of American history and world history.

David Barton and his right wing forces, which claim to be historians when they are not any such thing, wish to cut down attention paid to ethnic minorities, women, labor, and the study of great reforms and reformers throughout history, and to promote the concept that religion was advocated as part of government by the Founding Fathers, when that is a total myth!

And also, they wish to promote the idea that we are a greater nation than any in the world, taking away attention from world civilizations, as if we magically became the nation we are, despite the fact that we have been influenced by cultures and influences from around the world.

So the battle for knowledge over ignorance and prejudice has won in the battle for science, but now must continue the good fight for the the legitimacy of history in the curriculum and the textbooks!

The Texas State Board Of Education Vs. Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, And Lyndon B. Johnson

The Texas State Board of Education is on a rampage to promote a right wing, conservative, Christian agenda on the nearly 5 million public school students in the Lone Star State!

In the process, they are about to destroy all objectivity and the pursuit of truth, as they work to wipe out anything secular and liberal, and in the process, eliminate the great advances in the study of American history in the past half century, from an all white perspective to one that includes minorities and the dispossessed as part of the American story. They also are out to deemphasize or eliminate the importance of such Presidents as Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson, because their historical contributions do not agree with the set agenda of the majority of the state board of education!

What is wrong with Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and contributed so much in so many ways to our history? Well, he had the “gall” to promote separation of church and state, and to give up organized Christianity and become a Deist! But, what the state board seems not to know, due to their historical ignorance, is that Jefferson became the basis of conservatism, which these people profess, as he battled Alexander Hamilton over the issue of strict versus broad interpretation of the Constitution, and also fought with Hamilton over more state and local government versus a stronger national government! In other words, Jefferson is a conservative icon, as even Ronald Reagan recognized!

What is wrong with FDR? Well, he actually used the national government to fight the Great Depression with his New Deal programs, which, while far from perfect, did actually help lessen the effects of the depression on poor people and minorities, but of course, the board of education wishes to deemphasize the fact that there are minorities and poor people in this nation, who need consideration by government, which is not just for the rich and powerful! Also, he promoted “socialist” programs such as Social Security and Aid to Dependent Children (welfare), so therefore he is evil!

And what is wrong with Lyndon B. Johnson? Well, he promoted a War on Poverty which helped white and minority poor people; promoted civil rights, which many of these Texas board members wish did not exist; and of course promoted “socialist” programs such as federal aid to education, Medicare, Medicaid, and environment and consumer protection laws. This is all bad by definition of many Texas board members, because it means he did not promote states rights and limited national government!

This move in Texas to affect the future textbooks and educational curriculum in the field of Social Studies will be detrimental not only to millions of Texas students, but through the power of widespread acceptance in other states of what the Texas Board decides and textbook companies accepts as the norm, will undermine the historical exposure of millions of students nationwide, and present a challenge to college and university professors, who will discover that college students will be more ignorant and backward in their historical knowledge when they enter college!

It is therefore URGENT for all historical organizations and agencies nationwide to protest loudly and take whatever action is necessary to prevent such a travesty of the historical curriculum to be put into place, as it would be the triumph of the “know nothings”, and affect the long term future of the United States! Ignorance breeds ignorance, something we can ill afford as a nation in the 21st century, and in a country rapidly becoming one in which the majority of children will be minority, and yet be exposed to a white, Christian, sanitized version of historical reality!

The Texas State Board Of Education And Distortion Of American History!

The Texas State Board of Education is attempting to distort the story of American History and to establish a right wing version, and just at a time when membership of the Board is changing! Textbook decisions that affect not just Texas, but the whole nation, due to the large number of students in the Lone Star State, which encourages textbook publishers to tend to follow Texas standards of what should be taught in the publication of nationwide textbooks, endangers history education as we know it!

The conservatives want to emphasize the free enterprise system; organized religion; the conservative resurgence in politics in the 1980s and 1990s; and the role of pressure groups such as the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.

They also want to deemphasize the New Deal and Great Society; the civil rights movement; treatment of American foreign policy as imperialistic; and take such people as Ralph Nader and Ross Perot out of the curriculum and promote the significance of Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson on an even keel with Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant!

The role of racial and religious minorities would be toned down, and the concept of American as a Christian nation would be promoted. The concept that the federal government regulation and intervention is evil would also be emphasized, and the significance of the new Tea Party Movement would be taught.

This attempt by the Right in Texas is a plan to propagandize their version of history, a totally distorted view that any American historian, and really any educated, open minded person outside of the history field, would condemn! This is an attempt at brainwashing to promote the views of an elite that already has distorted science, and will not stop until people of principle step up and fight for freedom of thought, rather than distorted views of the history of our nation!

Yes, we can mention a lot of what the Texas State Board of Education has proposed in the curriculum, but NOT at the expense of alternative views and free inquiry! The historical associations (the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians), and local and regional historical associations, and universities, museums and historical societies, need to unite against this attempt to destroy and distort history education and knowledge by these right wing extremist activists in Texas!