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Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 05/22/2010

California bill takes aim at new Texas standards

By Valerie Strauss

A bill introduced in California seeks to protect the country’s largest school system from the Texas Board of Education.

The board yesterday approved a series of changes in the social studies standards that will be taught to the state’s nearly 5 million schoolchildren and that were essentially expressions of panel members' conservative political views.

Historians--and even conservative former secretary of education Rod Paige--argued that many of the changes skewed history, but the board majority wanted what it wanted.

What it wanted, for example, was to minimize the legitimate role of the brilliant Thomas Jefferson; improperly explain the meaning and importance to the country’s development of the phrase “separation of church and state”; incorrectly say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was vindicated; require that that the United States be referred to as a “constitutional republic” rather than “democratic,” (I’m betting because “democratic” sounds too much like “democrat” to these conservative Republicans); and much more.

One change that was initially approved but then rescinded, apparently because it was simply too embarrassing even for these people, was to require that the system known as the “slave trade” be known instead as the “Atlantic triangular trade.” The fact that it was first approved is more than disturbing.

In any case, the changes in Texas can affect students beyond the Lone Star State’s borders because it has historically had great influence in the textbook-publishing world.

Because Texas and California are so large, textbook publishers cater to their demands, and smaller states wind up being offered those products. Texas is the country’s second-largest textbook buyer, behind California, which has more than 6.2 million public school students in grades K-12.

Some in the industry say that Texas and California no longer have the power to sway other states because content now can be customized digitally. That remains to be seen.

And some California legislators aren’t so sure. A new bill introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) seeks to ensure that none of the Texas standards are allowed to be used in California in any fashion.

Under Yee’s bill, SB1451, the California Board of Education would be required to look out for any of the Texas content as part of its standard practice of reviewing public school textbooks. The board must then report any findings to the legislature and to the secretary of education.

California education officials say they aren’t worried about any spillover. Tom Adams, director of the state Education Department’s standards and curriculum division, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the Texas standards could make their way into national editions of textbooks, but that California uses its own.

Yee wants to make certain with his bill, which describes the Texas curriculum changes as "a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings."

The intent of the bill is sound, but if in fact there is no chance of any spillover, Yee’s bill would serve only as a rebuke to the Texas board. That it deserves.

-0-

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By Valerie Strauss  | May 22, 2010; 10:56 AM ET
Categories:  History  | Tags:  Texas social studies, Texas social studies standards, Texas standards, history, social studies standards, texas board of educaiton  
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Comments

Good for Yee. The ahistoric and antiscientific nitwits in Texas need to be fought - their idiocy could have a lasting effect on the future ability of the U.S. to compete in an educated, global arena.

Posted by: wombatua | May 22, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Wowie. Can we just let them secede now? I heard the head of this group is a dentist. In fact, I believe only two of these people actually have a teaching background. If they want to be stupid, fine, but they shouldn't be allowed to make everyone else stupid too.

Posted by: Gates9 | May 22, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I say cut any federal funding of their education system. Or at least threaten to do so. Perhaps that seems childish, but I'm not sure the Texas Board of Education could really understand anything more complex at this point. Every other subject seems to be out of their intellectual grasp. I'm honestly not sure how much of an effect it would have to take away the funds, but this is making us (yet again) the laughing stock of the world, and more importantly it is an extreme injustice for the schoolchildren of Texas in the short run and a big chunk of the rest of the country in the long run. Something has to be done before the publishers start gearing up to print this drivel. This is indoctrination, pure and simple. If anyone would care to explain why distorting history (and that's according to the experts, not me) is good for kids. Please, I would love to hear it. I'm so sick of conservatives (or whatever you call this out-of-touch-with-reality group nowadays) calling anything that disagrees with their insular and childishly black & white worldview "biased". Why do we have to keep this albatross tied firmly around the neck of our country? It is disheartening to say the least and extremely dangerous for the future of America. We're already trailing behind most of the Western nations. This group will not be satisfied until we're even with Pakistan and Iran in worldwide rankings.

Posted by: icemachine79 | May 22, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Yee!

Texas hates smarts! Thay like good'ol boys! Yikes!

There are people who vote for people that call themselves conservatives but really what you get is a bunch of theocrats who try to consolidate money and power to an elite group of ideological zealots who are willing to commit intense acts of hypocrisy simply to feel as if they have "won", like it's all some kind of game.

These toe tapping tools will stop at nothing to force your children learn myth in science classrooms such as ID or that the Earth was made 6000 years ago. These fake so called Republicans will vow that gays should not be able to live as non-gays do in our country, while simultaneously being gay in the closet. These people like to hate things. Fighting is what feels normal. These people are angry and angry people are easily exploited.

Posted by: ApostasyUSA | May 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Texas should be commended. They revolted against the old historians perspective that “History is written by the victors.” The Texas Board of Mis-education, has proven that history is re-written by the LOSERS.

Posted by: lynnlm | May 22, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The claim that this Republic is founded on "Christian" principles is simply not true.

Some of the Founders were atheists and deists but most were Christian. It is not my intention to claim they weren't. Their Christianity is not, however, what seperated them from their contemparies in Europe who shared that faith.

The principles that set our founders apart from their contemparies were not Christian and do not come from the Bible: they come from the Roman Republic. It was from pagan Romans that the Founders learned the principles of checks and balances, of personal liberty and equality before the law, of freedom of speech and so on.

What aliases did the Founders choose when they wrote their pamphlets and Federalist papers? Did they choose the names of the great biblical law-givers like Moses or Solomon? Or did they call themselves names such as Publius, in honor of the great ancient Republican (in the classical sense) Publius Syrus?

After all, how many times does the word "Republic" appear in the Bible? Is Jesus of Nazareth supposed to return as the "President" or the "King of kings"? The Bible can be creatively interpreted to support just about any position but if it can be said to endorse any kind of government, it would be that of Kingship by divine right as practiced by David, Solomon and so on, and this is THE VERY FORM OF GOVERNMENT AGAINST WHICH THE FOUNDERS REBELLED!

There is no point in pretending that most of the Founding Fathers were not Christians nor do I see any reason to hide that fact. There is likewise no reason to pretend that Christianity hasn't been very influential in our nation's history, both for good and bad. To pretend, however, that the Republic was founded on the Founder's Christian religious values rather than upon principles they borrowed from classical antiquity is worse than wrong; it could be dangerous. It is by studying the triumphs, tragedies and eventual collaspe of the Roman Republic that we can best anticipate any threats to our own and to teach young citizens nonsense about Christianity being the philosophical root of our system of government robs those citizens of the ability to do so and thus robs the Republic of the citizenry's best counsels!

Posted by: andrew23boyle | May 22, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

If none of the commenters live in Texas, have children in Texas public schools, or otherwise can claim their local public school system is better, then they should just shut the h3ll up and mind their own business!!!! California has a lot of room to talk about it's public schools being superior. But I forget, their schools are engineered for illegals who sponge off productive citizens and give nothing back.

Posted by: panamajack | May 22, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The claim that this Republic is founded on "Christian" principles is simply not true.

Some of the Founders were atheists and deists but most were Christian. It is not my intention to claim they weren't. Their Christianity is not, however, what seperated them from their contemparies in Europe who shared that faith.

The principles that set our founders apart from their contemparies were not Christian and do not come from the Bible: they come from the Roman Republic..........

Posted by: andrew23boyle

I got really excited ... Finally, it's someone who knows their history. Who is this person? I asked ... Shoot it's andrew again.

Nice seeing you again. We don't agree on everything. This we clearly do but I always enjoy reading your posts.

Posted by: James10 | May 22, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Is Texas the new 1950's Virginia???

Posted by: Rich393 | May 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"The Board wanted what it wanted".
Gosh sorta sounds like Obama/Pelosi/reid and the health care bill.

Posted by: pd2710 | May 22, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Texan living in Texas. God save us from the Texas Board of Education. They're taking "spin" into the classroom to promote their own very peculiar views of America. I think Thomas Jefferson said every generation needs a revolution, and it's time for one in Texas -- just not the one the Board of Education is hoping for.

Posted by: BabsinTX | May 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

whew the stench is overwhelming. So CA can put anything they want in their books rewriting history, but another state does it and the hatemongers spew forth their diseased drug addled venom. hope you have free health care because this kind of hate destroys a person from within. see you in the emerg room on the defib! :)

Posted by: pervleft | May 22, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@ panamajack

so if someone doesn't live in TX, they shouldn't interfere with Texans ignoring and subverting little things like "facts"? yet rightwingers such as NOM have no problem putting effort and money into fighting same-sex marriage laws and other civil issues in other states (and even countries) when it has nothing whatsoever to do with them. typical wingnut hypocrisy.

Posted by: hgenyc9261 | May 22, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if Christianity in the schools and public life hadn't been under assault for the last 50 years this wouldn't have been necessary. Back when there was prayer in the schools, there was also discipline, order and learning. Besides all of it seems more like a change in perspective rather than a radical re-thinking.

Posted by: ronjaboy | May 22, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Legislators in every state should follow Yee's example. Reactionary social studies "curriculum" in Texas should not be allowed to spread to other states, at least in those who seek a factual history curriculum to be taught to their students.

The only change adopted in Texas that is objectively true is describing this country as a "constitutional republic," not "democratic." The founding fathers had a strong distrust of "democracy," and ensured the structure of the federal government would be mostly undemocratic.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | May 22, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If none of the commenters live in Texas, have children in Texas public schools, or otherwise can claim their local public school system is better, then they should just shut the h3ll up and mind their own business!!!!
...

Do public schools take federal money?
Who will protect the children from the morons?

Dumb breeds dumb -- do we want a whole generation of Texans on welfare?

Not with my tax money money you don't -- I don't want the responsibility for a bunch of Texas retard -- you can' t compete intellectually with that garbage.

Heh.

Truly, the dumbest ever, yet so arrogant and clueless...

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | May 22, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Thank God that the board members took a stand to repudiate the liberal agenda spewed by the national media.

Posted by: tsapp77 | May 22, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

If none of the commenters live in Texas, have children in Texas public schools, or otherwise can claim their local public school system is better, then they should just shut the h3ll up and mind their own business!!!!
...

Do public schools take federal money?
Who will protect the children from the morons?

Dumb breeds dumb -- do we want a whole generation of Texans on welfare?

Not with my tax money money you don't -- I don't want the responsibility for a bunch of Texas retard -- you can' t compete intellectually with that garbage.

Heh.

Truly, the dumbest ever, yet so arrogant and clueless...

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | May 22, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

You still don't get it so you LIB T@RD? Taxes are you share (bill) for services you receive or have access to. You have no say so in the way the money is spent simplet0n. But as usual LIB T@RDS like you just want to be heard even if what you're saying makes no sense.

Posted by: askgees | May 22, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I like how when conservatives want to add in information about american history, liberals demand that they are only pushing their agenda. I congratulate Texas on their push towards a full and balanced view of history. For too long now the history in this country has been skewered left, people such as Daniel Boone are left out. Kids learn more about the Populist party than the revolutionary war.

Liberals are hypocrites, allowing themselves to write history but not for conservatives. In fact, when the conservatives were arguing with these liberals, the liberals were completely destroyed.

Why is it that in AP Us History kids learn more about the populist party then the revolutionary war? Why is it in AP US History the war for southern independence is skipped. The AP test doesnt even include anything about the "Civil" war. AP US history doesnt even demand that the students read or understand the constitution, nor the declaration of independence. What are the liberals trying to hide?

How come AP History Students who learn from the American Pageant, spend 3 chapters on FDR and just 20 pages on both World War I and World War II? And out of these 20 pages dealing with World War I and II only about 5 are dealing with the actually military. Hooray for liberals wanting to strip your kids of all patriotism and how hard these patriots fought for you dumb liberals. The total amount of pages spent on war, and how america won wars in the American Pageant which is used in almost every AP US History class is well below 50. There are over 1000 pages in that book. We AMericans have had 10+ MAJOR wars. Thats about 5 pages a WAR. Honestly, is this what you want your kid to learn?

Our constitutional republic that we call the United States of America is not a democracy at all. Whoever wrote this article has no idea what she or he is talking about. Apparently she/he doesnt know that the people do not vote the president in, it is the electoral college. Our Judicial branch is not elected by the people either. It is only the Legislative branch that is democratically controlled. And before 1914 only the house of representatives were elected solely by the people. Honestly liberals have a mental disorder. They dont want the facts, just their opinions.

Liberal history is a complete distortion of history, and I am proud of Texas for taking a stand. I will always stand by the Lone Star for that!

Posted by: forgotenlegend | May 22, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Secede already. Please. I wish you would and that I might never hear of such nonsense again.

You are white dinosaurs rioting against an endless brown sea that will surely engulf you. You can't even see that. You hope to change the future by distorting the past.
But you will soon be outnumbered. Your kind will not last. You will be gone and forgotten and the textbooks will say, "White people? That is a myth. There never were any such in this land of the free." Please secede. Go away.

Posted by: martymar123 | May 22, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Secede already. Please. I wish you would and that I might never hear of such nonsense again.

You are white dinosaurs rioting against an endless brown sea that will surely engulf you. You can't even see that. You hope to change the future by distorting the past.
But you will soon be outnumbered. Your kind will not last. You will be gone and forgotten and the textbooks will say, "White people? That is a myth. There never were any such in this land of the free." Please secede. Go away.

Posted by: martymar123 | May 22, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

As a former teacher, I used a textbook as a resource, not as the end-all on a particular subject I taught. I pulled from other resources -- films and documentaries, newspaper and magazine articles, outside reading. Most of the textbooks I reviewed had poor layouts, misinformation, and omissions. Our department usually chose the one that we felt was the least "offensive." I also let my students' interests and questions guide some of the topics that we discussed.

History is a forgotten academic subject in schools today. High school students have no knowledge of ancient history and the foundation on which our laws are based, and they usually take only one year or semester of American history. American students know very little history even when they graduate high school. I have had foreign exchange students who knew much more of our history and in more depth.

Posted by: sdl63 | May 22, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

There is an easy way to fix this madness and nonsense in the public market place.

Progressive California companies should stop recognizing high school diploma from Texas. That means, if you graduated from Texas school system you need not apply.

Anyone who has completed their high school from Texas and recently employed (hired in the past 5 years) should be required to undergo remedial training as a requirement for any further promotion.

In this age where you are essentially competing against the class of graduates from entire world, companies should not tolerate these nincompoops who think the world was created 2000 years ago in 6 days or whatever the crap they believe in.

Intel, Google, HP, any one?

Posted by: kblgca | May 22, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The columnist says "...simply too embarrassing even for these people," "These people?" What does she mean? "These people are aliens?" These people are wrong?

She separates herself from "these people."

Obama promised to bring us together. "There is no blue states, no red states." he said during the campaign.

Looks like Obama has done a poor job of bringing us together.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | May 22, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

@ forgotenlegend,
Have you any idea of what you posted. If your post is typical of the education you recieved in Texas, you make the oppositions to Texas board easy.

The Texas board left out all of every conservatives control of the congress and/or presidency, left our country in shambles from the banking industry to the military complex that wins what they want by threating to kill contracts for any rebellion against $200 toilet seats.

The next agenda by those wingnuts is to rewrite who created heaven and earth...Ronald Reagan? who destroyed the Soviet Union...Ronald Reagan?

Texas???

Posted by: WhoCaresAnyMore | May 22, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Why is Texas going to all this trouble when the kids can just listen to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh?

The conservatives have really gone off the rails ever since William F. Buckley died.

I wonder if Texas is going to teach Barry Goldwater's famous quote:

"Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's a**."

Or this one:

"I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state. The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right to live life as they please as long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process."

Or this one:

"I don't have any respect for the Religious Right. There is no place in this country for practicing religion in politics. That goes for Falwell, Robertson and all the rest of these political preachers. They are a detriment to the country."

Or this one:

"If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?"

This whole flap is not about left or right, it is about stupidity and delusion.
Barry is rolling in his grave.

The good news is that the "brain" behind all this got kicked voted off the board, and it is doubtful this will survive past November.

Posted by: plaza04433 | May 22, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

can we go over the Flat Earth chapter again?

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | May 22, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

America was founded by slave owning, Indian murdering misogynists. That is the plain truth. Don't recall any of my History books telling it that way. Other than that I hope Texas will keep it's revisionist History within it's state border and just go ahead and secede from the US of A.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | May 22, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted: "America was founded by slave owning, Indian murdering misogynists."
==
Precisely the kind of knee jerk over-reaction that keeps the conservatives in power and getting stronger. Whitewashing the shockingly savage ways of the native Americans with the nobility of the oppressed while villifying of often heroic pioneers is exactly what the conservatives complain about. America is more good than bad, especially in comparison with the rest of this planet, but posts like the one above show us that many people want this country to believe it's actually evil.
(Notice correct use of it's: it is, not "it's" to show possession. Did someone's schoolbook fail?)

Posted by: kls1 | May 22, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

It's because of folks sitting on the school boards in Texas is the reason why there are so many dumb uneducated people running around the country.

That's right, keep the children dumb and uneducated, so that they don't have a chance in hell to learn the true history of their country.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | May 22, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I guess this gives us a good preview of the difficulty there will be if we try to have national education standards.

Posted by: celestun100 | May 22, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

It has long been known that the typical Southern public school is no place for the children of parents who desire a good education for their kids.

Southern powers-that-be re-established “separate but unequal” within 10 years of implementation of Brown vs. Board of Education, by opening private and church schools out of governmental jurisdiction, sending their kids to them, and forking over sizable tuition payments.

To afford the private school tuition, that group regularly campaigns against and casts swing votes against all school bond issues and property taxes. They also support state legislators who refuse to let state-supported funding of public education be at a level that allows even vaguely adequate (by standards in the rest of the country) public schools.

This is just more of the same old tune. Ho! Hum!

Posted by: MedResearcher46 | May 22, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"require that that the United States be referred to as a “constitutional republic” rather than “democratic,” (I’m betting because “democratic” sounds too much like “democrat” to these conservative Republicans)"

Ummm... in all fairness, the United States IS a constitutional republic, not a democracy.

Posted by: sbjs | May 22, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that any History teacher worth anything will just ignore the new textbooks and teach the right things. We got handouts and work packets when I was in school because sometimes the info in the books was out of date or new infomation on the topic had been discovered. Also I'm sure at some point a parent will sue and this will all be null and viod.

Posted by: chalowms | May 22, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"Precisely the kind of knee jerk over-reaction that keeps the conservatives in power and getting stronger. Whitewashing the shockingly savage ways of the native Americans with the nobility of the oppressed while villifying of often heroic pioneers is exactly what the conservatives complain about. America is more good than bad, especially in comparison with the rest of this planet, but posts like the one above show us that many people want this country to believe it's actually evil."

I don't agree with the poster that you were responding too but I can't fully agree with you either. There's nothing herioc about the slave trade or how Native Americans were treated regardless of their "savage ways". The pioneers were pretty "savage" themselves if you want to look at it that way especially to African Amercians (branding, whipping, ripping families apart etc etc). The effects of these herioc pioneers can still be felt today in both minority communities. Think the reservation and the high rate of acoholism among Native Americans. Please be clear this is not meant to excuse anyone's behavior but their is a cause and effect scenario being played out here.

Posted by: chalowms | May 22, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, cry me a river.

Take a look at how well California's doing in education. I think we're just ahead of Mississippi and Arkansas in achievement, all the while spending zillions of dollars to support disfunctional schools kept rotten through the fine efforts of the NEA and the California Teachers Association (CTA).

I can't speak for what will be in Texas schoolbooks, but I can verify that the ones they use in California for elementary schools are full of multi-culti leftwing nonsense. Let's call it Indoctrination 101.

Madison? Other Founding Fathers? Forget it. But my 2nd and 3rd graders know who Rosa Parks, Pierre L'Enfant, Cesar Chavez, and Malcolm X are because... well, because the teacher's unions can. Did I mention the reverent photos of Barack The Messiah all over school?

And then there's the ubiquitous environmental doom 'n gloom. Let's scare the little kiddies, etc.

Yeah, 'critics' say Texas is politicizing textbooks. As if the Left never did so good on Texas for trying to take back their schools from the leftwing mobs and teachers unions.

Posted by: egdusa | May 23, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

And I'm sure that Virginia will be first state in line to buy the Texas Textbooks for Dummies.

Posted by: solsticebelle | May 23, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

"Perhaps if Christianity in the schools and public life hadn't been under assault for the last 50 years this wouldn't have been necessary. Back when there was prayer in the schools, there was also discipline, order and learning. Besides all of it seems more like a change in perspective rather than a radical re-thinking."

Perhaps after all those years of having to sit in class with each teacher's theology being forced down their throats, the next generation responded by putting religion back where it belongs--in church. When Christianity in the public schools was left to run freely, an awful lot of students were turned off by religion entirely. When there was prayer in the public schools, there was not discipline, order, and learning; it was more like abuse of (what some considered God-given) power, fear, resentment, and rote memorization. If you think that the proposed changes are just a mere change in perception, you know nothing--not one thing--about the typical Texas "perspective."

Let me remind you all that there is currently a like-minded committee of uber-conservative men re-writing the Bible because they believe it is--get this--TOO LIBERAL!!

Perhaps some of these lock-step "thinkers" should get out there and study some history themselves...wait; that would require them to be literate in the first place.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | May 23, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Tell the Textbook Publishers that you are not buying the Texas BS and if they don't provide intelligent books you will publish your own.

If the book Peddlers had any balls, they would refuse to print that tripe. But then that's just one more business taken over by certain Ethnic groups like the ones who have turned the media into purveyors of Right Wing Government agitprop that ranges from merely banal to silly to corrosive.

Like the Post, Texas is, no doubt, preparing mountains of revisionist Bush Baloney to put in their History books as well.

Look at the Niagara of blather produced about the NYC "Bombing". Of all the FBI Provocations to date, this one is the most pathetic, but thank G_d they didn't kill anybody this time.

Monte Haun mchaun@hotmail.com

Posted by: mchaun | May 23, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Cut all Federal Funding for Texas.

Posted by: roguecowboy | May 23, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse


California can't do anything right. California= FAIL. Perhaps its time we have education that doesn't seek to undermind America in the cause of secular socialism.

Posted by: dboc_991 | May 23, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

It's easy to tell who the idiot Republicans are...They ALL agree with the morons in Texas!

Posted by: imZandor | May 23, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Nationalized standards created by Educators with Doctorate degrees -not by ideological parents with nothing more than a community college degree- is obviously called for.

No wonder the US is 12th in Education. I bet Texas school board members couldn't even find the number one country (Finland) on a map. Of course, now that they have had their way neither will any Texas school children.

Posted by: topwriter | May 23, 2010 4:32 AM | Report abuse

Thank God the last thing we need is anything California think in our schools.

Posted by: samuellenn | May 23, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm so happy (not) that some of you responding here find this funny, but if you had to live in the great State of Texas? You wouldn't be laughing. What in the name of all that is just gives these people the right to change History? I find this ignorant, and dangerous. Truth is a powerful tool to have regarding historical facts, and myths. This is simply going to dumb down Nation already too dumb for words! I cannot wait to leave this really ignorant State, and especially their Politicians such as Perry the Goodhair Governor. We deserve to be made fun of, but it's still unfair to those who are trapped here for now, and have nothing in common with many of these radicals!

Posted by: sheilahowison | May 23, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

So now we have Regional interpretations of history to meet the region's social and political needs. Truth is not the objective but interpretation is. Just like the varied interpretations of the bible over history.

Texas has their own Mullahs and truth be damned.

Posted by: beachbum1938 | May 23, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

One other word, we finally can see a glimpse of what our country would look like under a Christian Conservative governance. They would move us to a Theocracy but a Republic. Hmmm, sounds familiar????

If that is what you want, vote Tea Party, vote for Rand, vote for insanity.

Posted by: beachbum1938 | May 23, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I think it is probably a mistake to attribute the actions of the Texas Board of Education to "conservative" views. Real conservatives read and rever history. They may interpret the facts differently from others, but simply to misstate facts to serve an ideological agenda is not real conservatism but a move toward dictatorship.

I am Texas-born and -raised and attended public schools. What the BOE has done shows the triumph of ideology and disrespect of truth. That was not what I was taught and not what I have taken with me from my education. It is a disgrace that the current generation of Texas youth will be denied the benefit that I got from a good public school education in Texas.

Posted by: dorofacol | May 23, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

panamajack wrote: "If none of the commenters live in Texas, have children in Texas public schools, or otherwise can claim their local public school system is better, then they should just shut the h3ll up and mind their own business."

.

.

.

Well, mr. panamajack, if that really is your name, I would remind you that what happens in Texas does not in fact stay in Texas. Texas has no intention of "minding its own business", as you would have the civilized world do. Texas has every intention of foisting its mysanthropic ideology on the rest of my country, as illustrated in numerous attempts by their local and Federal politicians to dictate morality and values on us all.

Now, if you have any suggestions to stop Texas from trying to influence my Commonwealth, such as telling Tom DeLay to get his fat azz out of here and go back to his beloved Texas, then we will certainly listen. Otherwise, stay the H3ll out of our business.

Posted by: swatkins1 | May 23, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The brilliant TexASS board of education believes:
1) That the eath is flat
2) That Gravitational force, electricity and evolution are only theories,therefore may be all wet.
3) That their intelligent design theory should replace the scientific method.
4) That even though we humans share some 97% of our genes with chimps and bonobos, we have absolutely nothing to do with them.
I bet China, Germany, Japan etc. hope we become intelligent designers in the next 100 years!

Posted by: yawhosthere | May 23, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I would venture a guess that the Blog writer has not read the Texas standards. Nor, I would guess, have any of the commentators.

The US is not a democracy, it is a constitutional republic.

I'm a Californian. If you look at our education results you'll see why no California politician should say anything about the Texas educations system.

Posted by: jeffr31 | May 23, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The wanna-be intelligentsia posting here must be products of the uber-left schools that have held sway over these past decades, trying to inculcate their socialist/communist principles into our children. They froth at the mouth when those who actually love the USA and want their children to be proud of this extraordinary and yes, I am saying it, exceptional country control the texts and curriculum. They rant at those who would not concur with Dear Leader that the USA is a deeply flawed country with much to apologize for. So congratulations to Texas and its Board of Education for their courage and resolve to not bow to other countries but rather to present what is honest and balanced about the USA and its nobility. Let us pray for CA and its Demoncrat-controlled, marxist-oriented, illegal-alien-invader-pandering politicians.

Posted by: segeny | May 23, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I hate to tell you, chalowms, but a lot of history teachers are NOT worth anything and will not "just ignore the new textbooks and teach the right things." sdl63, who said as a history teacher he or she pulled various sources together, is clearly an exceptional teacher. Many history teachers are English teachers who would had more seniority than the history teacher so got that class instead of being laid off. Or the teacher is a coach who has to teach something and it's clear he can't be expected to teach math or science, but there is a belief that in history you just assign the chapter and ask the questions at the back of the chapter. Several years ago, a high school tried to do away with textbooks except in math and science labs, asking teachers to use outside sources and lectures--in most cases the history teachers were unable to do this because they didn't know enough history. In fact, in a lot of states, there is no requirement that a high school teacher has ever even taken a college course in the subject he teaches!

Posted by: sideswiththekids | May 23, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

This "Blog" has been censored.

This poerson can't handle the truth or accept an actual retort of substabtive argument, with citations for support.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | May 23, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"....for example, was to minimize the legitimate role of the brilliant Thomas Jefferson; improperly explain the meaning and importance to the country’s development of the phrase “separation of church and state”; incorrectly say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was vindicated; require that that the United States be referred to as a “constitutional republic” rather than “democratic,” (I’m betting because “democratic” sounds too much like “democrat” to these conservative Republicans); and much more...."
____________________

It's late in the day but quite frankly there is so much wrong in this statement. This isn't what the curriculum says at all.

On McCarthyism: here is what the curriculum states:

"describe how McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the arms race, and the space race increased Cold War tensions and how the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government..." (yes, I am aware there is a debate about Venona--that is what the question in Texas curriculum is about; did Venona have impact? If so what?)

Is the Answer Sheet and it's readers unaware that there were in fact communists in the US govt?

As for Jefferson here is another direct quote--please explain to me how you think Jefferson will be left out (and by the way, note the grade level this starts being taught).

".... the student is expected know all of the people/events listed; it is generally used when a unit of study would be incomplete without studying the people/events listed. For example, Grade 5 (2)(A) requires the student to "identify the contributions of significant individuals during the revolutionary period, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington."
The unit of study may focus on as many significant individuals as the teacher chooses, but no study of the American Revolution can be considered complete without studying the contributions of Jefferson and Washington." (quotes from the Texas Education Agency, Social Studies Center).
___________________

I am very disappointed in the Washington Post; it's fine to have an opinion but at least have one based in fact versus hearsay.

Posted by: mil1 | May 23, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

This is a no-brainer for California. Texas BOE wants to revise history. They want to skew history for our children who are supposed to have some level of trust in the information our government is providing them.

It is beyond disgusting. Let's send a loud and clear message that brainless self-serving agenda driven reality departing educational materials will not be tolerated in California and under no circumstances would we take our school age children and subject them to AND GRADE THEM ON such intentional partisan misleading information.

Make this one big. Imagine the disaster this causes when these deluded children from Texas and other states become voting age, or enlistment age, or candidate age.

Texas flies their flag at the same level as the stars and stripes. To me this represents the fact that they wish to remain a third world country. Their new history standard is clear evidence of that.

Posted by: ijames | May 24, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

California's got the right idea, but the right idea still isn't the best idea. Referenda are all well and good for slaps on the wrist, but a betrayal of history such as this deserves a slight bit more of a thwack. There's a good piece (http://www.thevoicexchange.com/ChaseMcGee/3872.php) that really delineates why history isn't really Texas's to change.

Posted by: CampbellVanArsdale | May 25, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Am I ever glad I moved away from my birth state of California & moved to Texas!
It's fools like "Yee" that have ruined a once nice state! San Francisco is: so far left it might as well fall into the Pacific, {it might one day}! There are so many things wrong with "Cali" They are in debt over their heads. Id say there are 2 classes left in CA.......The Idle rich: Like: Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi & The Nu-Riche movie stars, and the rest poor, trying to get by on very little, & of course all the welfare residents. In the bay area they do not want people to drink sugar drinks, eat certain kinds of fast food, or smoke cigarettes, to name a few. But they do not mind if a person smokes grass--{an old SNL skit from Nov, 2006}.....Seems like the Far left Liberals in Northern CA want to take a away everyone's personal freedom! Shame on them! In closing I will say my Grand Parents, use to say California was the Golden State -- Now Grammy & Grappy {they are still alive} say Cali is the CESPOOL State!

Posted by: GladILeftCali | May 25, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I am a product of the once formidable public school system in San Antonio Texas. A few years ago while taking a Computer Aided Drafting class at Madisonville Comunity College, I discovered that the district I graduated from lost the last two years of my high school records. Because this meant I no longer had a recorded high school diploma, I had to take the newly revised Kentucky GED test. I deliberately took the pre-GED test cold so I would know what I needed to brush up on. Because of the no nonsense quality of the Texas education I received in the 1960's & 70's, I got the highest pre-GED score the test administrator said she had seen in twelve years she had been administering the Kentucky GED test.
Once upon a time you could get that kind of lasting quality education in Texas. But it seems that future public school graduates in Texas, will be no better educated than their Afghan counterparts graduating from Taliban madrasahs. I would support capital punishment for those responsible of robbing a generation of the kind of quality education I was fortunate enough to have once received from Texas.

Posted by: thegreenriversniper | May 25, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I find most of the comments laughable for the hypocrisy of it all. The few minor things Texas changed (and I disagree with a number of them but not all) are no different than the myriad of twisted, spun, and politicized content in most history books. California has a long lasting reputation for writing in it's own version of things and when I grew up there the first thing we did at the start of a new year was go through the history book page by page crossing out stuff as the teacher instructed to correct all the propaganda. Maybe his changes were the same thing. Living in 5 different states as my 4 kids grew up we would see all kinds of incorrect and politicized content more often than not leaning toward a strong handed liberal mind set. For those who see nothing wrong with that, there lies the problem and the hypocrisy.

It would seem that your propaganda and historical lies are okay just not the other guys whom ever that might be. Yo don't get it both ways.

For far too long our schools have been breeding grounds of over zealot teachers and school boards who manipulate the kids as they see fit.

We all need to make a greater effort to find politically neutral ways of presenting history better still presenting more than one point of view. Our colleges need this too. We claim in schools and colleges that we are trying to teach young minds critical and independent thinking but nothing could be farther than the truth. Both extremes routinely preach and force students into compliance of the regions or institutions propaganda. One of the reason so many are so polarized stems form this depending on where you went to school and college you may have completely different beliefs and for far too many we simply take our teachers and professors word that what they are teaching is correct even when they know it was more likely political propaganda. Each side hates the other because they are so convinced of their position that neither will investigate deeply enough, it's so much easier to just call the other side stupid.

ALl of which only proves how poor both sides arguments are. I can't agree with what Texas is doing, nor can I excuse what so many in California have also done in the exact same way. Just because you like someone's revisionist history does not make it true, both liberals and conservatives are guilty of trying to hide and distort facts for future political gains and neither side has any legitimate right to point fingers or condemn until they set their won house in order. Trouble is it's very hard to look facts in the face and admit that things happened in ways we may not want to admit and allow them to stand without interpretation or alteration to suit our own sensibilities.

Posted by: carbonware | May 28, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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