Last week the Texas Board of Education, which is made up of 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats, decided to do what many communist countries do – namely rewrite history and make themselves seem in the right on every matter no matter how far that is from the truth.
Every American, from far right conservatives to far left liberals, should be very concerned about the Texas Board of Education’s actions. There is clear bias and inaccuracies in the changes that they are wanting to make to history and social study books and our kids’ education is no place to be playing politics or letting ideology get in the way of facts.
Conservatives Seemed to Have Become Scarily Disconnected with Reality
This is just another example of the disconnect that is plaguing conservatives. They are getting farther from reality and the standards that our forefathers established when they formed our country.
They see their ideology as the only correct ideology regardless of the fact that this country is founded on the principle that personal ideology would not stand in the way of rights for all people – including a public education that is based on factual evidence not political positions.
Stalin himself rewrote the history books in the Soviet Union in order to cast himself and his party in a more positive light. They removed names from history (in particular those that they had executed) and replaced it with their own. He wanted to establish a specific mindshare in the brains of the youngest soviets knowing that would influence their loyalty in him.
Maybe the Rampant Hypocrisy is Worse
Supporting the case of how disconnected Texas conservatives have become is what they have stated as their motivation for the amendments.
Conservative board member Don McLeroy said after the vote, “We are adding balance. . . History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left.”
So the Texas board of Education decided to clearly skew it to the right.
Among the changes are:
Down playing the significance of Thomas Jefferson in the creation of the US government and out right removing him from history books because he was a proponent of separation of church and state.
Changing ‘democratic’ to ‘constitutional republic’ because the prior term favored democrats too much – they clearly don’t mind the new terminology favoring themselves.
Removing mention of hip-hop as a cultural movement in America.
Putting more focus on the right to bear arms in the teaching of the constitution.
‘Capitalism’ is now called ‘free enterprise system’ because as republican member Terri Leo puts it:
“Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation. You know, ‘capitalist pig!’ ”
Of course that negative connotation has made a come back after the Bush administration’s economic policies of the 2000s. Clearly it a term the Republicans would love to replace and wipe the slate clean of.
The list goes on and is aptly summed up by the New York Times if you care to be amazed and shocked that such a thing could happen in this country.
The Real Losers – Texas Students
Consider this, elected officials – politicians, with no expertise in any of the subjects at hand are amending standards that were set by an association of teachers. POLITICIANS are overriding TEACHERS curriculum standards.
In a country where our students are already falling behind globally the last thing we need is for our own states to start impeding their progress by replacing and ignoring facts in exchange for political ideology.
Given the reason events in the state where I reside, I wonder how much collateral damage will pile up before the 2010 November elections.