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Posted by on Nov 30, 2013 in Education, Society | 4 comments

Texas Stupid!

c480x270_55Have we reached the point where we should not only let Texas succeed from the union but actually request that they do?  This is an example of the kind of people making educational decisions in Texas.

With childlike glee, McLeroy flipped through the pages and explained what he saw as the gaping holes in Darwin’s theory. “I don’t care what the educational political lobby and their allies on the left say,” he declared at one point. “Evolution is hooey.” This bled into a rant about American history. “The secular humanists may argue that we are a secular nation,” McLeroy said, jabbing his finger in the air for emphasis. “But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes.”

Now this fellow sits on Texas State Board of Education,  The group that decides which text books will be used in Texas.  The board has been taken over by extreme right wing science deniers.  Texas is the second biggest purchaser of text books in the country and used to have a great deal of influence on text book publishers but they have simply become more trouble than they are worth.  The Board was recently told by all the publishers that Creationism would not be included in science text books.

But it’s not just science – they also want to rewrite American history.

Barton’s goal is to pack textbooks with early American documents that blend government and religion, and paint them as building blocks of our Constitution. In so doing, he aims to blur the fact that the Constitution itself cements a wall of separation between church and state. But his agenda does not stop there. He and the other conservative experts also want to scrub U.S. history of its inconvenient blemishes—if they get their way, textbooks will paint slavery as a relic of British colonialism that America struggled to cast off from day one and refer to our economic system as “ethical capitalism.” They also aim to redeem Communist hunter Joseph McCarthy, a project McLeroy endorses. As he put it in a memo to one of the writing teams, “Read the latest on McCarthy—He was basically vindicated.”

And it doesn’t stop there:

In late 2007, the English language arts writing teams, made up mostly of teachers and curriculum planners, turned in the drafts they had been laboring over for more than two years. The ultraconservatives argued that they were too light on basics like grammar and too heavy on reading comprehension and critical thinking. “This critical-thinking stuff is gobbledygook,” grumbled David Bradley, an insurance salesman with no college degree, who often acts as the faction’s enforcer. (bold mine)

It appears that even in conservative Texas the Board may have gone too far.  Many of the members will be primaried next year as the demographics in Texas are changing.  Keep in mind Houston has an openly gay female mayor.