Saturday, March 13, 2010

School Books to Promote Conservative Religious Perspective

We will not pass judgment on the state of Texas, it's a big place and has a lot of different kinds of people. But there are a lot of conservative folks down there, and they expect to get their way. Now they are re-writing school textbooks to fit their Conservapedia-like worldview.

The problem with that is that Texas is such a big state, such a big customer to the publishers, that books are written to meet Texas standards and then distributed all over the country. Here's the AP reporting.
AUSTIN, Texas - A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded yesterday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history, and economics lessons that, if approved in a final vote, will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.

Teachers in Texas would be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards would describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic," and students would be required to study the decline in value of the dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

Decisions by the board - made up of lawyers, a dentist, and a weekly newspaper publisher among others - can affect textbook content nationwide because Texas is one of publishers' biggest clients. Texas board would tilt textbooks to the right

Yeah, they're a little bit crazy down there, and normally that's fine for them. But our kids are going to be getting these same textbooks.
"We have been about conservatism vs. liberalism," said Democrat Mavis Knight of Dallas, explaining her vote against the standards. "We have manipulated strands to insert what we want it to be in the document, regardless as to whether or not it's appropriate."

After three days of impassioned debate, the board gave preliminary approval to the new standards with a 10-5 party-line vote. A final vote is expected in May, after a public-comment period that could produce additional amendments and arguments.

Ultraconservatives wielded their power over hundreds of subjects, introducing and rejecting amendments on everything from the civil rights movement to global politics. Hostilities flared and prompted a walkout Thursday by one of the board's most prominent Democrats, Mary Helen Berlanga of Corpus Christi, who accused her colleagues of "whitewashing" curriculum standards.

I would like to see a list of the things they wanted to include. Since I just linked to Conservapedia, I went to that site and looked around. It really is pure nuttiness, they are re-defining the world in some kind of terms that have nothing to do with reality. And it's not a joke. People like that are getting publishers to re-write textbooks so that American children are indoctrinated into the fantasy-land of the ultraconservative religious right.
By late Thursday night, three other Democrats seemed to sense their futility and left, leaving Republicans to easily push through amendments heralding "American exceptionalism" and the U.S. free-enterprise system, suggesting it thrives best absent excessive government intervention.

Republican Terri Leo, a member of the powerful Christian-conservative voting bloc, called the standards "world class" and "exceptional."

Board members argued about the classification of historic periods (still B.C. and A.D., rather than B.C.E. and C.E.); whether students should be required to explain the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics (they will); and whether former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir should be required learning (she will).

"Some board members themselves acknowledged this morning that the process for revising curriculum standards in Texas is seriously broken, with politics and personal agendas dominating just about every decision," said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which advocates for religious freedom.

And your kid's school is going to buy these books and your kid is going to learn this stuff.


Anonymous march madness said...

thanks for posting the good news that the liberal bias will be removed from school curriculums

March 13, 2010 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The libs already have California's liberal school books. Now they want the Texan ones too? Seems greedy to me.

March 13, 2010 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Teachers in Texas would be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state."

this is an ignorant, liberal statement

the basis of the separation of church and state is Judeo-Christianity

liberals, starting with the Warren Court, in the mid-20th century have twisted this concept

March 13, 2010 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our founding fathers did NOT want a state-run religion, like the one they had left in England. That is what they meant by separation of church and state.

They never even envisioned a world where the discussion of God, or the teaching of God, would be eliminated Godless people.

March 13, 2010 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Not for long said...

Religious Right spokesman on Texas school board unseated by challenger
By Ken Camp, Managing Editor
Published: March 03, 2010

DALLAS—The Religious Right suffered a surprise setback in Texas when incumbent Don McLeroy—a creationist and critic of church-state separation—narrowly lost his re-election bid for the powerful State Board of Education to challenger Thomas Ratliff in the March 2 Republican primary.

The board’s role in determining public school standards not only influences textbooks in Texas, but also has an impact across the nation. Texas is one of the top two buyers of textbooks in the United States, and many publishers develop their books with the Texas market in mind.

March 13, 2010 10:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Texas State Board of Education decides to go 1984, Action Needed.

“In late 2007, the English language arts writing teams, made up mostly of teachers and curriculum planners, turned in the drafts they had been laboring over for more than two years. The ultraconservatives argued that they were too light on basics like grammar and too heavy on reading comprehension and critical thinking. “This critical-thinking stuff is gobbledygook,” grumbled David Bradley, an insurance salesman with no college degree, who often acts as the faction’s enforcer.”

Sociopathanon: “thanks for posting the good news that the liberal bias will be removed from school curriculums”

Liberal bias = reading-comprehension and critical-thinking lessons.

And now to use it in a sentence:

thanks for posting the good news that reading-comprehension and critical-thinking lessons will be removed from school curriculums.

March 14, 2010 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Conservatives are hypocrites said...

Utah's House majority leader, Republican Rep. Kevin Garn, resigned from the Legislature Saturday, two days after acknowledging he paid a woman $150,000 to keep quiet about a nude hot-tubbing incident that took place a quarter century ago when she was a teenager.

Garn's confession was the second blow to Republican leadership in the state since January, when GOP Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack was arrested for driving under the influence. He resigned a few days later.

In recent years, Republicans have also been accused of bribery.

A major focal point of this session was to pass ethics reform that would restore the public's faith in the Legislature.

As majority leader, Garn helped shepherd much of the ethics legislation. While in office, he has avoided sponsoring many morality bills but did co-sponsor a bill in 2009 that made it illegal for teens to send nude pictures of themselves to others.

March 14, 2010 10:49 AM  
Anonymous really? said...

don't seem all that scandalous to me

driving under the influence?

anybody out there never done that?

in a hot tub, naked with a girl 25 years ago?

anybody out there never done that?


March 14, 2010 4:45 PM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Really? asked:

“don't seem all that scandalous to me

driving under the influence?

anybody out there never done that?”

As a matter of fact, I’ve never done that – it just seems stupid. In high school and college I was a tea-totaler. In fact I was the designated driver for my group of high school friends, who were prolific drinkers. I didn’t indulge in alcohol until after I was 21 and had graduated college – after graduating though, I really needed a drink.

“in a hot tub, naked with a girl 25 years ago?

anybody out there never done that?


Nope, I’ve never done that either. Not 25 years ago, 20, 15, 10, 30, or even 5. I’ve never been in a hot tub where anyone was naked – myself or anyone else. I only go in hot tubs where people have all their clothes on. Does that make me a prude? Or is it just that heterosexuals can keep their genitals / behavior / hormones / clothes under control? I shudder to think what kind of pervs you hang out with if you think everyone does that.


Yet there are still people who repeatedly refer to me as some kind of “sexual deviant.”

Go figure.

It’s amazing how quick you are to dismiss $150,000 in hush money paid to a teenage girl (she would have been about 15) by a (then 30 year old) Republican pervert, but when two teenage girls want to go to the prom together it’s somehow a crime against social norms.


How do you rationalize such heterosexual perversion and then claim homosexuals are a threat to society?


March 14, 2010 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where does it say, "In God we trust"?

March 14, 2010 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Mr. Garn was married at the time of his nude hot tub frolic with the underage girl. Not only that, he was her boss.

"Garn owns KSG Distributing Inc., which sells books on tape, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes to retailers such as truck stops, grocery stores and convenience stores. Maher worked in his warehouse at the time."

anybody out there never done that?

He paid her in an effort to silence her when he ran for the US Congress in 2002.

"Garn told colleagues he paid the woman, Cheryl Maher, after she began contacting reporters about the incident during his unsuccessful bid for a congressional seat in 2002."

anybody out there never done that?

March 15, 2010 9:16 AM  
Anonymous faith and begora said...

you really are a hardcore hater who spews a lot of venom, inane

this poor guy can't help it if he wants to frolic with naked girls in hot tub

it's an innate desire and scientific studies show it can't be changed

men frolicking with naked girls in hot tubs does nothing to harm homosexual relationships

March 15, 2010 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Oh I see, so cutting and pasting excerpts of facts reported in the media about Garn means I'm a "hater who spews a lot of venom" to you.

So tell us what you think of JD Hayworth's latest rendition of his factually incorrect "conservative perspective":

..."You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, when it started this move toward same-sex marriage, actually defined marriage -- now get this -- it defined marriage as simply, quote, 'the establishment of intimacy,'" Hayworth said during a radio interview this past weekend.

"Now how dangerous is that? I mean, I don't mean to be absurd about it, but I guess I can make the point of absurdity with an absurd point -- I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse. It's just the wrong way to go, and the only way to protect the institution of marriage is with that federal marriage amendment that I support."

It's hard to pick out the most ridiculous thing about this, but if I had to do it, it would be this: The Massachusetts Supreme Court did not define marriage as "the establishment of intimacy." (In fact, a search of the court's decision didn't turn up a single use of that phrase.) What it did, several times, was emphasize that marriage is a union of two willing partners -- and since, legally, animals can't give their consent, a union between a man and a horse could never fall under that definition.


JD Hayworth bashes John McCain on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC In this segment you can hear Hayworth admit he was the #9 top recipient of Jack Abramoff money. Are you going to accuse me of being a "hater who spews a lot of venom" for repeating what Hayworth admitted to Rachel?

March 16, 2010 8:43 AM  
Anonymous faith and begora said...

you seriously didn't understand that I was joking, B

may-B you're worse off than I thought

for the more literal minded among us:

I think there has been some over-reaction to the revelation that some obscure state legislator in Utah got into a hot tub with a naked girl 25 years ago

but I don't think the over-reactors are hardcore haters who spew a lot of venom

I may even have some friends who might over-react to such a thing

March 16, 2010 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"faith and begora":
You have friends?

March 18, 2010 10:42 PM  

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