Chaos Brewing for Texas SBOE 19 May Meeting

We’ve been writing quite a bit about the latest episode of madness exhibited by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE). For one example, see: Texas Theocracy: Gail Lowe Interviewed.

The SBOE has a public meeting scheduled for 19 May to discuss their theocratic revisions to the state’s standards for history education. A final vote will be held two days later. These events will be the climax of all their recent craziness.

It’s not surprising, therefore, to learn that things are already heating up in anticipation of those events. In the Austin American-Statesman we read SBOE swamped by comments on social studies standards. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The State Board of Education had received more than 20,000 public comments as of last week on the proposed revision of social studies curriculum standards.

Did they think no one would notice what they’re doing? Let’s read on:

That incomplete tally — the monthlong comment period ends May 19 — has swamped the 3,000 comments received during last year’s debate of science curriculum standards. The science debate reached a fevered pitch over how to teach evolution in biology classes and attracted widespread attention.

Indeed, the board’s creationism activity definitely “attracted widespread attention.” That was when it became obvious to all the world that the SBOE is dominated by a clique of anti-science fanatics. We continue:

But it pales in comparison with the heat generated by the standards that will shape history, government and economics textbooks and courses for Texas’ 4.7 million public school students.

That’s as it should be. The SBOE is trying to obliterate any mention of the Enlightenment and its influence on the American Revolution. Rather, they want Texas schools to teach that the Revolution was a scriptural event, in which Thomas Jefferson played no role. They also claim there’s no constitutional separation of church and state. See: American History Revised in Texas. Here’s more:

About 8,000 of the comments — 7,500 from out-of-state senders — have apparently originated with an organized effort by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas stating the standards are “not in the best interest of students,” Martinez said [that’s Monica Martinez, managing director of the curriculum division at the Texas Education Agency].

[…]

Based on the form-letter language, Martinez said there appear to be two or three coordinated campaigns to generate public comment.

Not surprising, and it’s easy for the fanatics to ignore such coordinated efforts. But they’ve received more than 20,000 comments. Can they ignore them all? One last excerpt:

The vigorous debate of the social studies standards, particularly those guiding American history and government curriculum, has become a national media spectacle.

Remember, the public hearing is set for 19 May — that’s next Wednesday. The final vote is two days later. It’s going to be a wild week. We’ll be very surprised if the board backs down. They’re on a mission.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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