telophase: (Kenpachi - killing something?)
Remember yesterday's momentary lapse of apathy about the Texas State School Board? They're at it again, now with social studies. (Dallas Morning News site, use if it asks you to sign in.)

Highlights of the article:
"To have César Chávez listed next to Ben Franklin" -- as in the current standards -- "is ludicrous," wrote evangelical minister Peter Marshall, one of six experts advising the state as it develops new curriculum standards for social studies classes and textbooks. David Barton, president of Aledo-based WallBuilders, said in his review that Chávez, a Hispanic labor leader, "lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others."

Marshall also questioned whether Thurgood Marshall, who argued the landmark case that resulted in school desegregation and was the first black U.S. Supreme Court justice, should be presented to Texas students as an important historical figure. He wrote that the late justice is "not a strong enough example" of such a figure.


Barton, a former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, said that because the U.S. is a republic rather than a democracy, the proper adjective for identifying U.S. values and processes should be "republican" rather than "democratic." That means social studies books should discuss "republican" values in the U.S., his report said.

Both Barton and Marshall also singled out as overrated Anne Hutchinson, a New England pioneer and early advocate of women's rights and religious freedom, who was tried and banished from her Puritan colony in Massachusetts because of her nontraditional views.

"She was certainly not a significant colonial leader, and didn't accomplish anything except getting herself exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for making trouble," Marshall wrote.
Remember, non-Texans! These are the guys who will be making standards for YOUR TEXTBOOKS if they prevail! Texans: Contact the Texas governor. Contact your Texas state rep. Contact your Texas state senator.


Jul. 8th, 2009 01:53 pm
telophase: (Kyo - say what?)
There's a vacancy on the State Board of Education. I would highly encourage you, if you share many of my opinions in the matter, to send a message to the governor that you support appointing a candidate who is scientifically literate and committed to the education of children over political machinations. Article on the current wrangling.

USAians who are not Texans, why should you be interested? Because Texas is so huge, it is one of the states whose textbook picks drive the textbooks available in the rest of the US - it's such a big market that the publishers craft their books to its standards. So: Texas votes against having evolution in its textbooks? Congratulations: it's out of all of your books, too.

This has been a momentary lapse of apathy. Back to your normally-scheduled ennui.
telophase: (Default)
Woo, there is actual political activity occurring on our campus right now! There's a small rally in the grassy lot behind the library and the seminary in support of the Jena 6. There's even a news van out there filming it.

I am impressed, given the general apathy and conservatism on this campus.

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