Just like with the elections, conservatives on the Texas Board of Education have won — and America (or, in this case, Texas) has lost. While the Board ultimately accepted books that no longer contain passages that were designed to lead students to believe, wrongly, that there is not scientific consensus on climate change thanks to a combination of board members’ admitted failure to actually read the alterations made by publishers and possible illiteracy, period, the Christian extremists on the Board did win the battle regarding their wish to spread Jesus all across American history.
The Texas Freedom Network says it was successful in getting other alterations made that promote negative stereotypes of Muslims. However, the Board accepted numerous late changes without giving the public time to review them — including the promotion of Moses as a Founding Father.
“What we saw today shows very clearly that the process the State Board of Education uses to adopt textbooks is a sham,” Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said in a statement. “This board adopted textbooks with numerous late changes that the public had little opportunity to review and comment on and that even board members themselves admitted they had not read. They can’t honestly say they know what’s in these textbooks, which could be in classrooms for a decade.”
The 89 new textbooks were approved by a party-line 10 to 5 vote. In essence, the terrorists won.
Progressive Secular Humanist notes that:
The textbooks were written to align with instructional standards that the Board of Education approved back in 2010 with the explicit intention of forcing social studies teaching to adhere to a conservative Christian agenda. The standards require teachers to emphasize America’s so called “Christian heritage.”
In essence, Christian conservatives in Texas have successfully forced a false historical narrative into public school textbooks that portray Moses as an influence on the Constitution and the Old Testament as the root of democracy.
Critics called the whole process into question after publishers posted a number of last-minute changes to the textbooks yesterday, leaving board members and observers without time to figure out exactly what was in the approved texts.
According to reports, scholars did not have an opportunity to review and comment on the numerous changes publishers have submitted since the last public hearing. Some of those changes appeared to have been negotiated with state board members behind closed doors.
Miller says that the textbooks — the one that scholars were not given time to review — “include passages that suggest Moses influenced the writing of the Constitution and that the roots of democracy can be found in the Old Testament. Scholars from across the country have said such claims are inaccurate and mislead students about the historical record.”
Emile Lester, a professor of history at the University of Mary Washington, says the textbooks contain “inventions and exaggerations” regarding the influence of Christianity on the Founding Fathers, and historians warn that these bastardizations of American history could lead students to believe that “Moses was the first American.”
Recently, Texas Tech students, more than 80 percent of whom are from the state, were found to be unable to answer basic U.S. history questions. Many, thanks to the stellar education provided by the state, were unable to say who won the Civil War, and from whom America won its independence. They were, however, able to answer questions about Jersey Shore.
Think about that.