Texas Board of Education – Rewriting History in favor of Political Ideology

The folks over at the Texas freedom Network decided to attend the Texas Board of Education as it debated revisions to the school curriculum regarding political history. What they saw was a board dominated by extreme right wing politics. TFN comments:
> These board members clearly haven’t got a clue how to craft a curriculum document that’s streamlined, coherent and focused. They are far more interested in seeding the standards with whatever ideological pet causes they have. Pity the students and teachers of Texas for the foolishness they must endure.
Some choice bits noted from the meeting:
> 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.
During a debate regarding capitalism and free enterprise, several of the board members object to the term ‘Capitalism’ because it is considered a negative term. One member states, regarding using the word, “I do think words mean things. . . . I see no reason, frankly, to compromise with liberal professors from academia.” When it is pointed out that the person who recommended the terms ‘capitalism’ and ‘free enterprise’ be used is actually a republican professor at Texas A&M, the information is ignored, and the board passes the measure:
> The Texas State Board of Education has stricken from the standards references to “capitalism” and “free market” because the board’s right-wingers think “capitalism” is a negative term. The only permitted term for such an economic system will be “free enterprise.” We wouldn’t believe this if we hadn’t just watched it happen. This is so stupid it makes our head hurt.
It’s this sort of subtle manipulation of curriculum, particularly in public schools, that has the greatest effect on the political positions of children and young adults. If ideology is allowed to triumph over fact (and in many points in this discussion, fact is trumped in favor of personal stance), how can people trust their public schools, and by inference their local governments? I ask that folks pay close attention to their local school boards, and when they see absurdity like this, raise the roof and call it out – that is the only way this sort of ideological undermining of education can be stopped.

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