THIS is a sampler from various newspapers which have commented about the recent activities of the Texas State Board of Education. In all excerpts which follow, the bold was added by us:
From Don’t sweat curriculum (un)civil war in the Houston Chronicle:
Mark Twain never met the Texas State Board of Education, but he had their number. “In the beginning God created monkeys, that was for practice,” Twain wrote. “Then He created school boards.”
The SBOE, which represents Texas’ best argument against the theory of intelligent design, spent the week engaged in a marathon of juvenile argument over what should be included in school curriculums and, therefore, textbooks.
Not much news there, but those were two good observations. Moving along, we see In Texas, social studies textbooks get a conservative make-over in the Christian Science Monitor:
Other states are watching closely. A state senate committee in California has passed a bill that would ensure no California textbooks contain any Texas-driven changes.
We’d like all the other states to consider such a law, especially regarding the Texas science standards. If this bill gets passed in California, we’ll certainly hear about it.
The last paper in today’s round up is the Dallas Morning News. Their article is titled More conservative textbook curriculum OK’d:
Democratic lawmakers and other critics have suggested that when a new board of education takes office in January – after two social conservatives have been replaced by more moderate members – the board should reconsider the standards and make substantial changes.
Asked about that possibility, McLeroy said there is nothing to prohibit such a move, but he contended that “when people look at what we’ve done, they won’t find much to change.”
Most experts say it is unlikely that the board will revisit the social studies curriculum – unless Democrat Bill White wins the governor’s race this fall. If that happens, White would appoint the education board chairman, who controls the panel’s agenda and could put the issue back before the board next year.
Change is unlikely if Gov. Rick Perry wins re-election.
That same article discusses the two items about which we’ve been most interested since last year’s anti-science insanity: (1) Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightenment; and (2) separation of church and state:
Board member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, another social conservative, opened Friday’s board meeting with an invocation that referred to the U.S. and its history as a “Christian land governed by Christian principles.”
“I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses,” she said.
Were it not for the fact that we’ve been following events in Texas for more than a year, we’d assume that Dunbar is by far the biggest idiot in that state. But we’ve learned that she’s just one of many.
Here’s a bit more:
Before approving the standards on Friday, board members adopted scores of additional changes – including the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s name to a list of political philosophers that students will study in world history. Board members had come under criticism for removing Jefferson’s name earlier this year though they pointed out that Jefferson would still be studied in other areas of the curriculum such as U.S. history and government.
Board members also adopted a standard that calls on high school students to “compare and contrast” the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment – barring establishment of a state religion – with the legal doctrine of church-state separation that emerged from U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Interesting. Jefferson is back, and so is a lesson aimed at teaching the kiddies that theocracy is what he and the other Founders had in mind. Good luck with your education, kiddies.
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