Texas is being thrust into the national spotlight again over its completely asinine education standards. This time the state is going to war over its brand new and completely inaccurate Social Studies books.
Texas has become ground zero of the Republican war on education. In years past it was Texas standards that essentially determined what textbooks were going to look like all over the country. Fortunately, thanks to technological advances, those of us with kids in the other 49 states don’t have to worry that our children will be taught about Moses in Social Studies class (no, seriously, it’s in there). Unfortunately, the kids in Texas will if the new textbooks are approved.
The Texas Freedom Network, an educational watchdog group, commissioned a group of history scholars to review the new Social Studies textbooks. President of the group, Kathy Miller, said that publishers tried their best but some of the books had glaring problems.
“In all fairness, it’s clear that the publishers struggled with these flawed standards and still managed to do a good job in some areas. In the other hand, a number of textbook passages essentially reflect the ideological beliefs of politicians on the state board rather than sound scholarship and factual history.” [Source]
Some of the problems with the new textbooks are:
- Downplaying segregation as if it wasn’t that bad.
- It contains cartoons depicting outer space aliens to explain affirmative action as if those who benefit from it are less American (or human – ed.).
- Discussing taxes in a negative way but never once mentioning Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security.
- Democracy was inspired by the Old Testament, Moses, and the Ten Commandments.
- Muslims are violent but Christians never have been.
- Scientists disagree with what causes climate change and it’ll eventually even out anyway.
Obviously the Republican Board of Education in Texas has done an amazing job with their standards of education. An amazing job, that is, if their goal is to dumb down the students of Texas.
Those things sound more like talking points at a Tea Party rally than a textbook to be used in grade schools across the state.
Republicans have made it a high priority to influence education and teach our kids crap. That’s what it is, it’s crap. They are more concerned with trying to raise a little army of future Republican voters than they are educating kids. The best way to influence a group of people is to keep them uneducated. Education is power and that’s the last thing the Republican party wants.
The right fights desperately to influence education because as Mark Twain said: It’s easier to fool people than it is to convince them that they have been fooled.