Skip to comments.TX State board of ed election seen as clash of culture, values [public schools textbook battle]
Posted on 10/14/2012 1:15:29 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
AUSTIN - Two years since a conservative sweep of the State Board of Education,November's election carries high stakes, with all 15 seats on the ballot and the instructional direction of 5 million Texas school children in the balance.
The divide over the issues of history and science,political and religious ideology is deep. One side views the fight for control of the board as nothing less than a cultural clash. The other sees the November contests as critical choices to protect conservative values.
The board determines curriculum standards and textbooks for Texas'K-12 public school system and controls the $26 billion PermanentSchoolFund.
The next board will select new science and social studies/history texts to reflect updated science curriculum standards.
"That's where all these culture war battles will come to a head over what students learn about evolution, about civil rights, about church and state separation,"said Dan Quinn, spokesman for the Texas Freedom Network,an Austin-based group that monitors the board of education from a more liberal angle. "All those battles will come in 2013and2014,and the textbooks will be in the classrooms for a generation."
"Will we have history textbooks that teach facts based on real scholars,"Quinn asked,"or opinions based on the political beliefs of whoever controls the board?"
Republican members hold a 11-4 advantage,and few expect big changes in the makeup of the board.
Board elections gained new attention following passionate debates on science standards and social studies in 2010,said Jonathan Saenz,president of Texas Values,formerly known as the Liberty Institute,which monitors the board from a more conservative perspective.
"More people want to see the values of Texas reflected in their elected officials,and that's no different with the State Board of Education,"Saenz said. "You will continue to see more conservatives who feel very strongly about their conservative beliefs get involved in the election process."
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
And LIBERALS want history rewritten so that students (generations) are indoctrinated against, family, faith and America exceptionalism.
LIBERALS have swarmed the comments section
From the National Education Association [NEA] website:
“Controversial changes may be in store for your textbooks, courtesy of the Texas state school board.”
by Tim Walker, NEA - July 2010
“History, Winston Churchill famously said, is written by the victors. Don McLeroy no doubt agrees.
McLeroy is a dentist from Bryan, Texas, a self-described Christian fundamentalist, and an outgoing member of state school board of education (SBOE). Over the past year, McLeroy and his allies formed a powerful bloc on the 15-member elected board and pushed through controversial revisions to the statewide social studies curriculum.
Sometimes it boggles my mind the kind of power we have, McLeroy recently boasted.
To many Texans, however, whats more mind-boggling are some of the revisions. Critics charge that they promote Christian fundamentalism, boost conservative political figures, and force-feed American exceptionalism, while downplaying the historical contributions of minorities. (See slideshow below for examples of the changes.)
Rita Haecker, president of the Texas State Teachers Association, believes the year-long review process deteriorated into a political and divisive spectacle.
The circus-like efforts of right-wing board members, Haecker said, to impose their own religious and political beliefs on the public school curriculum have been and still are a national embarrassment.
The standards will guide textbook purchases and classroom instruction over the next decade and maybe not just in Texas. National publishers usually cater to its demands because the school board is probably the most influential in the country. Texas buys 48 million textbooks every year. No other state, except California, wields that sort of market clout.
But Jay Diskey, executive director of the Association of American Publishers School Division, says fears of a Texas-style national social studies curriculum are overblown because publishers are more accustomed nowadays to producing customized textbooks for different states.
But California isnt taking any chances. A bill recently introduced in the state legislature seeks to prevent Texas-approved changes from seeping into textbooks in the Golden State.
Even if their reach is limited to Texas, will the new standards capsize social studies classrooms across the Lone Star state? Probably not, says Kirk White, a middle school social studies teacher in Austin.
Are there some things in there that dont belong? Sure, but I hope teachers dont buckle and interpret the language too narrowly, White says. If we have to talk more about our so-called ‘Christian nation’ in class, then lets talk about it the good and the bad. A good teacher will know how to take advantage of this situation.
Let us have a look at the battlefield. From colonial times on education was a local concern and it conformed to the culture of the locality. America was a Protestant nation up until yesterday when it was announced that it no longer is so. When the Catholics came they wanted the imprint of their own religion on their children so they created parochial schools. Jews did so as well in their turn, but to a lesser extent preferring after school Hebrew studies and preparation for bar mitzvah. Soon, we will expect an aggressive Muslim subpopulation to energize their own schools and to attempt to imprint Islam on children in the public schools.
Beginning with the Warren court, a radical interpretation of the First Amendment was imposed on local education from the federal level. This interpretation required a distorted view of the establishment clause of the First Amendment and over time evolved into an active hostility to religion, especially Christian religion.
A little later under the guise of trying to improve a failing education system in a world which was clearly surpassing our young scholars in every test, we greatly federalized education. Since the federal government has the source of funds generated through the income tax and the borrowing power which up until now has been almost infinite, the feds increasingly began to regulate education as they have pushed to control virtually every other aspect of American life with carrots and with sticks.
When education was a local affair, conducted in a one room schoolhouse by a schoolmarm who was well known to the community and whose values and morals were above reproach, parents could count on the kids getting their traditional Judeo-Christian values imprinted along with the 3Rs. Today, they get no values and they get no Rs.
We must consider that the children are draftees forced into this battlefield. Unless parents have the financial wherewithal to send their kids to private or parochial school, or the time and talent to homeschool, the kids are virtual chickens in a Skinner box for hours every day, five days a week. It is the federal government with its money to give or withhold, the federal courts with their power to forbid and enjoin, and the National Education Association and other teachers unions with their power to buy politicians and brainwash children who are now in almost exclusive control of the battlefield. This is a battlefield dominated not by generals but by union bosses, school administrators, and psychologist humbugs. Any child who plays hooky is liable to experience a court-martial in the sense that he and his parents will be prosecuted for "truancy" which means that they will have absented themselves without leave from sessions of indoctrination.
I see no way to victory for conservatism in this fray. We really did not lose this battle when we lost the Supreme Court, we lost this battle when we lost control of demographics. It had always been assumed that schools would teach shared values but what of a culture in which some percentage of the electorate wants the schools to teach sharia? What if some percentage of voters want the children indoctrinated into the belief that America is a racist and colonial nation which should pay reparations for slavery and segregation and appease terrorists and opportunists abroad? How can one rely on the schools to "socialize" (a bit of jargon from liberals who oppose homeschooling and want to homogenize along liberal lines our children's educational experience) children into loyal Americans if there is no agreement on basic values?
Many conservative Americans and many reasonable apolitical Americans have ignored the problem by taking refuge in the suburbs where the schools are relatively good and leaving the inner-city schools to fester. Out of sight, out of mind. White flight has been as predominant and perhaps more so in the North as has been in South and signals the real depth of the problem which heretofore has been largely papered over.
Many conservatives, myself included, have advocated a voucher systems for a number of reasons one of which is to directly address the problems we see so often cropping up on these threads and which have been described above. If you want your child to pray in school, salute the flag, wear a uniform, and mix with like-minded kids, you may do so simply by turning in this voucher. Presto, these problems have been solved because the government is not involved except as the piggy bank and to act as some sort of control agent for the ultimate quality but not the content of the education beyond the 3Rs. If you do not want your child exposed to the Lord's prayer, send him to a competing school and pay for it with your voucher.
We conservatives who advocate this position must understand that if we are going to fund private Christian schools with vouchers equally will we be funding madrassas which certainly will not be educating to our liking.
And this is perhaps more important and him and it is certainly a major reason why vouchers have not been adopted by white upper class suburbanites, it threatens the de facto integration of white suburban schools which heretofore had been segregated by virtue of municipal boundary lines rather than by out right classification of students according to race. If vouchers are good anywhere in the state one can expect black parents to be eager to withdraw their children from ghetto cesspools masquerading as schools and send them to suburban citadels of learning and decorum.
So we have done nothing as we watch our educational system deteriorate in an age when education is everything and our foreign competitors are already light years ahead of us. We have done nothing, that is, except throw money at the problem or more precisely at the teachers' unions. We have squandered it just as we have squandered the trillions of the stimulus package by giving it the crony capitalists of the Democrat party. We already spend more money on education per child than virtually any other country with almost nothing to show for the extra funding. As the government takes more more control and funnels more more money into the vortex, we should look at this and say, does this smell like Obama care?
We may win this battle of the Texas school books this year, but there is no 30 year lock in solution. We are in a cultural war for the survival of democracy and capitalism and what we are seeing in Texas is but one skirmish. But just as generals tell the amateurs, wars are not won by tactics but by logistics, so this war will be won or lost on demographics.
take the time to view it’s long but eye opening. Scroll up to 1:13:56 more ominous is the master plan and part of it is through the education of our children. This is across the board people
Look this over too.
The tribe, with the most babies wins....
These people are so afraid of freedom. They cringe at the thought of privatization and getting the federal govt. out of schools.
They can’t do ONE damn thing on their own. Friggin leaches.
“Will we have history textbooks that teach facts based on real scholars,”
It should be taught exactly as the facts were and not an opinionated version conjured by someone who did not like the real facts.
It can’t be changed for what happened....happened.
Journalists, reporters and historians have completely forgotten about the “5 w’s” in reporting and now report almost every story the way they think their readers would like it to be.
Thanks for your opinion for you are absolutely right.
In summary, my tagline proves right once again.