Sunday, March 14, 2010

I guess they want to beat out Oklahoma

By J. Thomas Duffy

Perhaps Texas Governor Rick Perry, when he threatened secession last year, meant it only intellectually.



Texas Textbook MASSACRE: 'Ultraconservatives' Approve Radical Changes To State Education Curriculum 

The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum's world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.” 

[snip]

We’re just picking ourselves up off the floor. The board’s far-right faction has spent months now proclaiming the importance of emphasizing America’s exceptionalism in social studies classrooms. But today they voted to remove one of the greatest of America’s Founders, Thomas Jefferson, from a standard about the influence of great political philosophers on political revolutions from 1750 to today. 

Matt Duss, over at Think Progress, shows how this dovetails with the NeoNitWit philosophy, and notes, with Texas being the second largest market for school textbooks, that "[i]t seems like a really bad idea to let the market determine the history we teach our children."



But wait, there's more!

Looks like they'll be buying white paint by the tanker-load:

Efforts by Hispanic board members to include more Latino figures as role models for the state’s large Hispanic population were consistently defeated, prompting one member, Mary Helen Berlanga, to storm out of a meeting late Thursday night, saying, “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.” 

“They are going overboard, they are not experts, they are not historians,” she said. “They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world.” 

And, let's not leave the Good Lord out of this:

12:28 – Board member Mavis Knight offers the following amendment: “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” Knight points out that students should understand that the Founders believed religious freedom was so important that they insisted on separation of church and state. 

12:32 – Board member Cynthia Dunbar argues that the Founders didn’t intend for separation of church and state in America. And she’s off on a long lecture about why the Founders intended to promote religion. She calls this amendment “not historically accurate.”

12:35 – Knight’s amendment fails on a straight party-line vote, 5-10. Republicans vote no, Democrats vote yes.

12:38 – Let the word go out here: The Texas State Board of Education today refused to require that students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others. They voted to lie to students by omission.

Holy Phony Longhorns, Batman!

Last year, when we wrote about Oklahoma, thanks to 75% of their high school students not being able to name the first U.S. president, bucking to be the location for the Idiocracy sequel, we now see that Texas was planning to give them a run for it.

Tough call, could be a toss up, or maybe Texas gets saved for the prequel on how the state actually sanctioned teaching its children to be dumber than doorknobs.

Just another chapter for the Right Wing Freak show, in its Sisyphus role of pushing that stone back up the hill, trying to make up its own facts.



(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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