Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't Mess with Texas...

...heard about the controversy in Texas over the textbooks? Do you know what it's about? Basically, Texas buys alot of textbooks. So if Texas buys a certain textbook, the publishers will print millions, to sell around the country. As a parent, I find this comical, since I KNOW that schools buy new textbooks every 1 to 3 years, and complain they don't have money. Does math, English, science change that much?

Anway, read this article (comments added):

By William La Jeunesse & Lindsay Stewart

What do liberal lawmakers in California share with their conservative counterparts in Texas? Very little. But this week both are watching the 15 member Texas State Board of Education, which will chose the next generation of history textbooks for most American children.

The left-right culture war will play out over the choice of words, photos, who to honor and what events in American and world history should receive a few lines of text. It may sound innocent, when it is anything but.

Years of research, months of editing, hundreds of hours of debate will be boiled down into a single document – a statement of curricula – that will define the parameters followed by virtually every social studies textbook and test for students from kindergarten to thru 8th grade for the next decade.

The battle lines are drawn. On one side are conservatives, who contend academia has been hijacked by liberals. A point supported by studies that show 90 percent of humanities teachers identify themselves as Democrats.

And nowhere is their bias more visible than the one-sided treatment of American history in U.S. textbooks, where words like ‘man’ and ‘mankind’ have been stricken, ‘Founding Fathers’ has been replaced by ‘Framers’ and ‘Founders’ and racial quota’s are applied to the number of photos used in any one book.

“ The liberal extreme groups aren’t interested in balance. They want the standards one-sided, that only fits them,” says Jonathan Saenz of the right leaning Liberty Institute. “The other side’s not interested in the truth. And the reality is, they have this mission of distortion and confusion because they have a political agenda. And they’re not really interested in the content. They’re interested in changing the political demographics.”

In the last two years the board, composed of 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats, has been led by 7 influential social conservatives. By the end of this week, the board will have finished rewriting curriculum standards for three key subject areas – English, science and now, social studies.

Liberals contend the board is out of touch and the block of social conservatives have manipulated the process to reflect teachings out of the mainstream. (Is it out of the mainstream to say 'Founding Fathers'?)

“They have politicized the textbook process. And I think that our schoolchildren deserve better than politicizing it,” Terri Burke, Texas ACLU Executive Director . (The ACLU Executive Director is complaining about the process being politicized - why is he even commenting, he is the politicization!) “We really believe this curriculum should be turned over to experts who know something about history, about education, about the learning levels of schoolchildren. We ought have people who really know it being the ones who write it and vet it and tell us that this is what kiddos oughta learn.” (The School Board are not experts on what the kids need? Then why do we have a School Board? The ACLU wants to tell you who the 'experts' are).

In California, a key state Senate Committee passed a bill Tuesday designed to prohibit any textbook approved in Texas to be used in the Golden State. (Just like California - they don't know what is in the textbook yet - but they want to ban it anyway. Hey California, just work on your own textbooks. Texas should be PROUD of anything they make that gets banned in California. Kind of like California City Councils voting to boycott Arizona. HINT: Arizonans spend billions in California, very little California money makes it to AZ)

“While some Texas politicians may want to set their educational standards back 50 years, (Are the new "standards" not saying 'man' and not having pictures of white men?) California should not be subject to their backward curriculum changes,” said Leland Yee, D-San Francisco. “The alterations and fallacies made by these extremist conservatives are offensive to our communities and inaccurate of our nation’s diverse history. Our kids should be provided an education based on facts and that embraces our multicultural nation.”

1 comment:

Patti said...

I'm sure NJ's school system is as good as CA's. can you say HOMESCEWLLL?? at least my kids know a MAN when they see one. I'm on a horse.