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Texas Sends History Down The Memory Hole, Rehabilitates Joe McCarthy And Jefferson Davis

by @ 9:19 am on May 23, 2010. Filed under Dumbasses, Education, History

The Texas Board of Education is at it again:

The Texas state school board gave final approval Friday to controversial social studies standards that minimize the separation of church and state and say that America is not a democracy but a “constitutional republic.”

The changes, which passed in a series of 9 to 5 votes, could have reverberations far beyond the Lone Star State’s schools and its 4.7 million students. The state’s large textbook market has traditionally led the way for others; at minimum, Texas students will get very different history lessons than does the rest of the country, as early as next year. Many teachers, academics and politicians on both sides of the aisle have condemned the standards.

But the seven-member conservative bloc on the board successfully pushed through changes that they said restored balance after what they called years of liberal bias in history education. The board began the day with a prayer from conservative board member Cynthia Dunbar (R) that laid out some of the beliefs of those who made the changes.

She said that the origins of the country were “a Christian land governed by Christian principles.”

Democrats on the board lamented the changes, which come at the end of days of meetings that have stretched more than 12 hours apiece.

“I have let down the students in our state,” said board member Mary Helen Berlanga (D). “What we have done today is something that a classroom teacher would not even have accepted,” she said, sweeping a pile of history books from her desk onto the floor.

The new standards say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was later vindicated — something most historians deny — draw an equivalency between Jefferson Davis’s and Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural addresses, say that international institutions such as the United Nations imperil American sovereignty, and include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn.

If nothing else, this entire sad episode in Texas has proven one thing — neither history nor the content of textbooks should be subject to a democratic vote.

5 Responses to “Texas Sends History Down The Memory Hole, Rehabilitates Joe McCarthy And Jefferson Davis”

  1. EJ says:

    this is one of the reasons why i support school vouchers… to decentralize the teaching process so no political power can dominate how history is taught. The opposite of texas was done in Massachusetts, where i grew up. According to my history teachers then, the industrial revolution was evil and we were only saved because of unions and the new deal.

  2. gawaine says:

    Gosh, that sounds terrible. Just checking, but you actually read the standards yourself, right? You’re not just blasting them based on the always-accurate summary provided by the Washington Post?

  3. Yea I did.

    And anyone who tries to rehabilitate a paranoid drunk like Joe McCarthy is an idiot in my book.

  4. Tom Burns says:

    Wikipedia says the U.S. is a “Federal constitutional presidential republic.”

    The Constitution basically lays out the federal government, yes? What’s wrong with calling it a “constitutional republic” if “constitutional” is referring to the U.S. Constitution?

  5. Tom Burns says:

    I do agree with what EJ said about school vouchers, though.

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