Re-writing history schoolbooks

  • News
  • Thread starter Evo
  • Start date
  • #1
Evo
Mentor
23,134
2,653

Main Question or Discussion Point

This is rather disturbing, to say the least.

U.S. history textbooks could soon be flavored heavily with Texas conservatism

The nation’s public school curriculum may be in for a Texas-sized overhaul, if the Lone Star state’s influential recommendations for changes to social studies, economics and history textbooks are fully ratified later this spring.

Don McElroy, who leads the board’s powerful seven-member social conservative bloc, explained that the measure is a way of "adding balance" in the classroom, since "academia is skewed too far to the left." And the board's critics have labeled the move an attempt by political "extremists" to "promote their ideology."

The revised standards have far-reaching implications because Texas is a huge market leader in the school-textbook industry. The enormous print run for Texas textbooks leaves most districts in other states adopting the same course materials, so that the Texas School Board effectively spells out requirements for 80 percent of the nation’s textbook market. That means, for instance, that schools in left-leaning states like Oregon and Vermont could soon be teaching from textbooks that are short on references to Ted Kennedy but long on references to conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.

Here are some of the other signal shifts that the Texas Board endorsed last Friday:
continued...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts1253 [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,482
3
How could this even get in there:

Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. Among the intellectual forerunners to be highlighted in Jefferson’s place: medieval Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, Puritan theologian John Calvin and conservative British law scholar William Blackstone. Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs.
 
  • #3
19
1
Well at least I'm not in high school anymore.
 
  • #4
calculusrocks
If parents were allowed tax credits for not using the public school system, then there would be a lot more choice. That means if you want to put your kid in a school with different curriculum from neighbors, then you don't have to pay for the public schools that your kids don't use. The uniformity of the textbooks is a direct result of a government monopoly.
 
  • #5
15
1
Some good, some bad, textbooks will never be perfect. I know textbooks for very long have been skewed to the Left, I remember reading an elementary school textbook that talked about how government money should be spent and not be spent, one example of how it should not be spent being a missile defense system :confused: Don't know what THAT was doing in an elementary school text!

I might be wrong but I think one reason Latin and Hispanic history is being curtailed is to make more room for European history. Latin and Hispanic history deals with the Inca, Aztec, etc...which while nice, are not what created modern society. We got the English language, modern science, common law, and all that, from Europe and European history is thus very important. If you are Hispanic and want to learn hispanic history, fine, but the history of the nation is more what you need to be taught in school (they cannot make room for every nation and culture's history).

Not including Jefferson I think is bad.
 
  • #6
Evo
Mentor
23,134
2,653
I might be wrong but I think one reason Latin and Hispanic history is being curtailed is to make more room for European history. Latin and Hispanic history deals with the Inca, Aztec, etc...which while nice, are not what created modern society. We got the English language, modern science, common law, and all that, from Europe and European history is thus very important. If you are Hispanic and want to learn hispanic history, fine, but the history of the nation is more what you need to be taught in school (they cannot make room for every nation and culture's history).

Not including Jefferson I think is bad.
Actually, Texas was part of Mexico. Remember the Alamo and Santa Anna? Mexico is an extremely inmportant part of Texas history.
 
  • #7
19
1
Actually, Texas was part of Mexico. Remember the Alamo and Santa Anna? Mexico is an extremely inmportant part of Texas history.

I am pretty sure the Texans are way more proud of being American than they are of being ex-Mexicans.
 
  • #8
15
1
Actually, Texas was part of Mexico. Remember the Alamo and Santa Anna? Mexico is an extremely inmportant part of Texas history.
Sure it is. But not going into depth on Hispanic and Latin history doesn't mean they are excluding Mexico as it relates to the history of the United States. We don't need to go deeply into depth on the history of Japan either, but Japan was a part of our history in the sense of pulling us into WWII.
 
  • #9
calculusrocks
Not including Jefferson I think is bad.
Jefferson should definitely be included.
 
  • #10
67
165
I am pretty sure the Texans are way more proud of being American than they are of being ex-Mexicans.
Mexico is taking the Southwest back one person at a time on foot, or 15 at a time in minivans.
 
  • #11
378
2
How could this even get in there:

Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. Among the intellectual forerunners to be highlighted in Jefferson’s place: medieval Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, Puritan theologian John Calvin and conservative British law scholar William Blackstone. Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs.
Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. Among the intellectual forerunners to be highlighted in Jefferson’s place: medieval Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, Puritan theologian John Calvin and conservative British law scholar William Blackstone. Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs.
Nonsense. I don't know what's in the brains of these people. Neither I understand how people like them have power to make these decisions/plans.
 
  • #12
CRGreathouse
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2,820
0
I'd like to actually see the textbook. I'm curious how accurate the descriptions of it are -- they make it sound quite bad.
 
  • #13
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
175
This idea of Texas seceding from the Union is sounding better all the time. :biggrin:
 
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
175
When I first moved to Oregon, I found that the local high school was teaching that it is "economic pollution" to leave the remaining 5% of Oregon's old-growth forests standing.

The book used was written by a local teacher who received a personal visit from me. :biggrin:
 
  • #15
106
1

"is a way of "adding balance" in the classroom, since "academia is skewed too far to the left."


A funny idea. If you cant get enough political support, enforce it into the minds of children.
The Conservative Religious Right never ceases to amuse me. I wonder when they'll move to drop Darwin and evolution from scholar programs.
 
  • #16
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
80
In 2001, California had 6.2 million students, Texas 4.2 million, New York 2.9 million, Florida 2.5 million, and Illinois 2.1 million - out of 48 million students nationwide. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d03/tables/pdf/table37.pdf

How come Texas is so much more important than California when it comes to textbooks?
 
Last edited:
  • #17
19
1
California is too busy trying not to fall into the ocean to care about textbooks.

I believe Texas has more clout than California when it comes to decision making.

In Texas there are most likely more people who are reading the textbook than compared to California.
 
  • #18
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
80
Would it be a bad sign if they obtained their new textbooks from http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/about [Broken]?

Interesting name for a textbook publisher. Maybe I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, though.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #19
6,265
1,277
Liberals never fare well when shots ring out from the Texas School Book Depository.
 
  • #20
48
0
How come Texas is so much more important than California when it comes to textbooks?
The difference is that Texas (but not California) approves and buys books for all the school districts in the state. Publishers often edit and revise textbooks in order to meet specific demands of the members of the Texas board.

NCSE: Consequences of the flawed standards in Texas? (concerning creationism, but I think it is equally valid for this topic)
 
  • #21
15
1

"is a way of "adding balance" in the classroom, since "academia is skewed too far to the left."


A funny idea. If you cant get enough political support, enforce it into the minds of children.
The Conservative Religious Right never ceases to amuse me. I wonder when they'll move to drop Darwin and evolution from scholar programs.
The big-government "liberal" Left never cease to amaze me either with their efforts to brainwash children within the educational system. What you speak of goes both ways.
 
  • #22
106
1
The big-government "liberal" Left never cease to amaze me either with their efforts to brainwash children within the educational system. What you speak of goes both ways.
Liberalism in US is far from being leftist.

If you call science "brainwashing" than yeah, you are right. Liberals are guilty :P But it's the fundamentalist right who tries to teach creationism to just about every being in schools, not the liberals.
 
  • #23
15
1
Liberalism in US is far from being leftist.
Could have fooled me!

If you call science "brainwashing" than yeah, you are right. Liberals are guilty :P It's the fundamentalist right who tries to teach creationism to just about every being in schools, not the liberals.
I'm not talking about science, I'm talking about skewed teachings of American history to the ultra-leftist variant (skewed versions to the ultra-right variant are bad too), skewed teachings of the role of government in a society, etc...creationism teaching is more something the social fundamentalists want taught, not conservatives who are mostly concerned about proper/balanced teaching of history, economics, Constitution, and so forth. Science is certainly important, that's why I wrote in an earlier post about how it is more important to teach kids European history than something like Aztec or Inca history because it is Euro history that gave us things like Western science.
 
Last edited:
  • #24
106
1
Could have fooled me!
Yeah. Well, small wonder.


I'm not talking about science, I'm talking about skewed teachings of American history to the ultra-leftist variant
Like ? The fact that women have the right to vote and to abortion ?
Besides, you have no idea what means ultra leftists politics. Not until you are deported to Siberia, or went killing with El Che
 
  • #25
15
1
Like ? The fact that women have the right to vote and to abortion ?
Who says abortion is a "right?" I agree the option for abortion should be available, but it is debatable to claim whether or not it is a right, and Constitutionally, I do not agree with Roe v Wade as it was judicial activism IMO (even if one thinks abortion is a right does not mean Roe v Wade was correct).

On women's right to vote, yes, that is very important. If you notice, the Left oftentimes want Supreme Court justices that will interpret the Constitution as they prefer it to be written as opposed to how it actually is written. If conservatives complain about this, they claim that conservatives would allow blacks to still be slaves and deny women the right to vote.

It doesn't occur to them that conservatives want no such thing, but that you protect such rights by amending the Constitution, not judicial activism (otherwise a woman's right to vote would rest with a few justices on the Court and could be overturned! same with slavery; this is the problem with abortion right now, a woman's "right to choose" rests with a few people on the Court as opposed to a formal amendment).

Besides, you have no idea what means ultra leftists politics. Not until you are deported to Siberia, or went killing with El Che
There's different variants of the ultra-Left. British Labour Party pre-Margaret Thatcher was pretty ultra-Left, but not of the same types as Chairman Mao, Lenin, Stalin, etc...
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Re-writing history schoolbooks

  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
34
Views
39K
Replies
16
Views
2K
Replies
18
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
25
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
3K
Top