Everyone knows about the Texas Science Chainsaw Massacre, which requires Texas public schools to teach “all sides” of the evolution controversy. After that Luddite accomplishment, the crazed State Board of Education (SBOE) then altered the teaching standards for social studies (see American History Revised in Texas).
In the Houston Chronicle we read SBOE standards for social studies appealed to feds, which informs us that some of the state’s newly-adopted social studies standards are being challenged. This doesn’t involve the state’s science standards, but it’s of interest anyway because it’s about the work of the same theocratic and creationist board. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
A school curriculum teaching children about violent Black Panthers while playing down Ku Klux Klan violence against blacks is not only inaccurate but discriminatory, the Texas NAACP and LULAC said Monday in a joint complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education.
We hadn’t heard of the LULAC before. They’re the League of United Latin American Citizens. Let’s read on:
The complaint asks the department’s Office of Civil Rights to review Texas’ new social studies curriculum standards approved by the State Board of Education and to take legal action if the state tries to implement the standards the groups call “racially or ethnically offensive,” as well as historically inaccurate. The new standards also balance the speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis and attempt to point out positive aspects of slavery.
The positive aspects of slavery? Yeah, right. One more excerpt:
A review of the new social studies curriculum standards by historians and college professors indicates that 83 percent of the required historical figures and notable persons for students to study are white. Only 16 percent are African American or Latino.
Pointing out the “positive aspects of slavery” seems crazy. But the NAACP’s statistical approach to compiling a list historical figures doesn’t impress us. Considering the abysmal conditions for blacks during much of American history — a topic that is certainly worthy of study — it’s not surprising that there haven’t been many until recently who would qualify for a list of “historical figures and notable persons.” That is, not if the list applied the same standards to everyone, because then it would likely consist of high-ranking politicians, military officers, and influential persons in business and science. Understandably (and regrettably) some groups wouldn’t have many people on such a list. That’s the historical result of racism, certainly, but the list shouldn’t be packed with people of lesser achievements merely for political correctness — at least in our Curmudgeonly opinion. We know, opinions vary, but that’s ours.
Anyway, this looks like an interesting start at the essential task of dismantling the ridiculous education standards adopted by the SBOE. We think an assault should — and probably will — be made regarding the new creationism-friendly science standards.
But when that happens, it won’t be in the form of a civil rights complaint to a federal bureaucracy, and it probably won’t be the NAACP or the LULAC who bring the case. It’ll likely be some kind of constitutional challenge in federal court, and it’s not only the First Amendment that will be involved. Teaching creationism arguably violates the Texas Constitution. See Sections 6 and 7 of their Bill OF Rights.
Perhaps a majority the new SBOE will be sufficiently sane and honorable to undertake that task themselves. They shouldn’t need to be forced into doing the right thing.
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