13 March 2010

Ignorance is not bliss . . .

Well, the State Board of Education in Texas has gone and done something really stupid and willfully wrongheaded. They have decided to revise their curriculum in social studies to more purposefully reflect the conservative, reactionary, and just plain incorrect views of certain members of the Board.

Here are a few of the highlights:

•Religious conservatives on the board killed a proposed standard that would have required high school government students to “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” That means the board rejected teaching students about the most fundamental constitutional protection for religious freedom in America. (3/11/10)

•Religious conservatives stripped from the high school sociology course a standard having students “differentiate between sex and gender as social constructs and determine how gender and socialization interact.” Board member Barbara Cargill argued that the standard would lead students to learn about “transexuals, transvestites and who knows what else.” She told board members she had conducted a “Google search” to support her argument. Board member Ken Mercer complained that the amendment was about “sex.” The board consulted no sociologists during the debate. (3/11/10)

•Board conservatives succeeded in censoring the word “capitalism” in the standards, requiring that the term for that economic system be called “free enterprise” throughout all social studies courses. Board members such as Terri Leo and Ken Mercer charged that “capitalism” is a negative term used by “liberal professors in academia.” (3/11/10)

•The board removed the concepts of “justice” and “responsibility for the common good” from a list of characteristics of good citizenship for Grades 1-3. (The proposal to remove “equality” failed.) (1/14/10)

I've always tried not to marginalize Texas because both of my parents were born there--but this is not a good sign. If you want to read more about it, there is a good article about this fiasco at the New York Times.

1 comment:

Midcenturymadam said...

That is very scary business. Ignorance is alive and well and spreading like wildfire.