How scary that a right-wing faction of the Texas Board of Education succeeded last week in injecting their worldview into textbooks that could be taught to millions of students for the next decade. Although I refer below to a few of the particular provisions included or excluded by the Board, the most disturbing fact is that such action sets in motion a battle for control of textbook content for the future. (Apparently, Texas written textbooks are subject to being sold nationwide).
How ludicrous it is to have textbooks manipulated and skewed based on political and ideological bents of fanatical school board members at any particular point in time, be they liberal or conservative board members. The board is setting themselves up, each term, for the change of textbook emphasis and language based on political climate and make-up of the school board. In my view, this is just an extention of the polarization of American politics and attitudes which is preyed upon and exacerbated by cable news and talk radio entertainers and "clowns".
To provide a few examples (in addition to the links below) of what the right-wingers have done, first they have, in essence, excluded reference of Thomas Jefferson in favor of religious leader John Calvin. Teachers will be required to "not highlight" rationale for the separation of church and state and will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influence of the founding fathers. Focus has been elevated and criticism tempered for Senator Joe McCarthy, and praise included for Phyllis Schaffly, the 1994 Contract On America, and Jerry Farwell's Moral Majority. Reference to the appointment of Justice Sonya Sotomayer was rejected by the right-wingers.
Below are a couple of significant new clips, one ABC News and the other CNN, which will help put the issue in perspective and provide more specific examples of the tampering. These news clips provide good summaries of the delimna which has developed as a result of the misguided action of the Texas school board.
This action bodes terribly for the direction of civil discourse in America. It should be of grave concern to all parents whose children might be exposed to this "information". Worse, it reminds us of the sad place we find ourselves in our attempt to be the diverse, yet respectful, "community" which I believe we were intended to be.