Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

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Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by DaMadFiddler » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:12 pm

Way to go, Texas :roll:
The Texas Board of Education has been meeting this week to revise its social studies curriculum. During the past three days, “the board’s far-right faction wielded their power to shape lessons on the civil rights movement, the U.S. free enterprise system and hundreds of other topics”:

– To avoid exposing students to “transvestites, transsexuals and who knows what else,” the Board struck the curriculum’s reference to “sex and gender as social constructs.”

– The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

– The Board refused to require that “students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others.”

– The Board struck the word “democratic” from the description of the U.S. government, instead terming it a “constitutional republic.”

As the nation’s second-largest textbook market, Texas has enormous leverage over publishers, who often “craft their standard textbooks based on the specs of the biggest buyers.” Indeed, as The Washington Monthly has reported, “when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas rarely stays in Texas.”
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/03/12/tex ... textbooks/
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Ex-Cyber » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:17 pm

If Jefferson is so important, why isn't he on any of my money?

Actually, I do keep a $2 bill around just because Jefferson was pretty cool, so the above question embodies a vicious lie.
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by pixel » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:51 pm

"The Board struck the curriculum’s reference to 'sex and gender as social constructs.'"

WTF? No one can discuss the reality of being male or female? How can they remove basic sociology from a curriculum? I literally don't understand this.
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Specially Cork » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:44 pm

pixel wrote:"The Board struck the curriculum’s reference to 'sex and gender as social constructs.'"

WTF? No one can discuss the reality of being male or female? How can they remove basic sociology from a curriculum? I literally don't understand this.
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by bloodite » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:02 am

pixel wrote:"The Board struck the curriculum’s reference to 'sex and gender as social constructs.'"

WTF? No one can discuss the reality of being male or female? How can they remove basic sociology from a curriculum? I literally don't understand this.
Theyre probably afraid that such discussion will lead to talk of gays and transsexuals, which of course the right down there abhor. Eliminate the validity of sex and gender as a concept that can change removes this.

It doesnt surprise me given they are trying to remove knowledge of one of the founding fathers, that pretty much sets the bar for any other change. A republican founder at that. after that, you can expect just about anything. The irony is thick with these people.

What is much more dangerous is the attempt to subvert the constitution by reinterpreting it. Not to mention the wide circulation and influence these doctored books are likely to see. Any attempt to change history by excluding knowledge of it shouldnt be tolerated in a society that supposedly champions truth.

IMHO if Texas wasnt one of the largest populations down there the republicans would never win anything.
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Eviltaco64X » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:43 am

So they replaced a founding father with a Protestant reformer? That's a little unorthodox...
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Stryfe » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:46 am

The Board struck the word “democratic” from the description of the U.S. government, instead terming it a “constitutional republic.”
That is what we are, so that part doesn't bother me.

Only from the armpit of the US...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/educa ... texas.html
Efforts by Hispanic board members to include more Latino figures as role models for the state’s large Hispanic population were consistently defeated, prompting one member, Mary Helen Berlanga, to storm out of a meeting late Thursday night, saying, “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.”

“They are going overboard, they are not experts, they are not historians,” she said. “They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world.”
There are seven members of the conservative bloc on the board, but they are often joined by one of the other three Republicans on crucial votes. There were no historians, sociologists or economists consulted at the meetings, though some members of the conservative bloc held themselves out as experts on certain topics.
Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)
-emphasis mine-
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Ex-Cyber » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:03 pm

Stryfe wrote:
The Board struck the word “democratic” from the description of the U.S. government, instead terming it a “constitutional republic.”
That is what we are, so that part doesn't bother me.
"Democratic" isn't just a word that refers to direct democracy, though. It also describes the general principle of rule according to the will of the people. Similarly, nearly any state without monarchy and with a constitution is a "constitutional republic", even if that constitution establishes antidemocratic processes or structures. The "we're a republic, not a democracy" meme depends on overly narrow definitions of those words, and really needs to be put to bed.
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Eviltaco64X » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:55 pm

I thought we were a democratic republic.. A constitutional republic who's leaders are put in place by the people. Well, at least, that was what it was supposed to be...
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Ex-Cyber » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:23 pm

Eviltaco64X wrote:I thought we were a democratic republic.. A constitutional republic who's leaders are put in place by the people. Well, at least, that was what it was supposed to be...
Well, sort of. Originally, the Senate was elected by the state legislatures, but that was changed by a constitutional amendment. The President is still indirectly elected by the state legislatures via the Electoral College, and electors are not required to be chosen by popular vote. The Constitution says that the state legislatures get to decide how to choose electors, and some states originally had the legislature appoint electors without any popular vote.
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by SuperMegatron » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:39 pm

I will just take the differing view and say why is this wrong. We have local school boards for a reason. If the people of texas want to be backwards let them, they elected the board, they pay for the school books, and they live with the results of their choices. Democracy means for the people b the people, and the people of texas have spoken via their reps.
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Stryfe » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:21 pm

I will just take the differing view and say why is this wrong. We have local school boards for a reason. If the people of texas want to be backwards let them, they elected the board, they pay for the school books, and they live with the results of their choices.
I figured a quote would be easier than reiterating.
Blogger wrote:As the nation’s second-largest textbook market, Texas has enormous leverage over publishers, who often “craft their standard textbooks based on the specs of the biggest buyers.” Indeed, as The Washington Monthly has reported, “when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas rarely stays in Texas.”
The problem being that these textbooks could be used for surrounding regions, and not just in Texas.
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Re: Texas Board of Education Removes Jefferson from Textbooks

Post by Quzar » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:01 pm

Stryfe wrote:
I will just take the differing view and say why is this wrong. We have local school boards for a reason. If the people of texas want to be backwards let them, they elected the board, they pay for the school books, and they live with the results of their choices.
I figured a quote would be easier than reiterating.
Blogger wrote:As the nation’s second-largest textbook market, Texas has enormous leverage over publishers, who often “craft their standard textbooks based on the specs of the biggest buyers.” Indeed, as The Washington Monthly has reported, “when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas rarely stays in Texas.”
The problem being that these textbooks could be used for surrounding regions, and not just in Texas.
The thing is that other schoolboards who actually have semi-intelligent standards will be forced to reject the books. While it's typically the case that a large consumer like Texas can dictate standards, that is for minor issues. If they wanted a piece of a chapter on the mexican american war but have little about the midwestern indian wars then that's the way it goes. For something so drastic as this, I can't imagine that other areas will allow the book to be used, and I really can't imagine that the publishing structure would be such that it would be prohibitively more expensive to use a different book. Hell, if anything this might force more mediocre school systems to go with publishers that had previously only gone with books that were even better. If there are two divisions 'crappy history textbooks' and 'good history textbooks' Texas pulling the former down farther may force others to have to go with the latter?

Wouldn't that be nice.
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