The pool of candidates for the Texas Board of Education, at any given time, is about as polluted as the Elk River in West Virginia. If you need evidence of this, look no further than a debate among candidates for the school board last year.
It was the usual rhetoric: Liberals bad. Jesus good. Common Core is an evil, socialist plot straight from the depths of Satan’s rectum. We didn’t come from no monkeys. You know –Sensible debate-type stuff.
Texas has never, exactly, taken pride in the accuracy of what the state’s children are being taught. As long as the educational materials reflect a comfortable viewpoint that white Christians came to America, founded its principles upon the Bible, and peacefully acquired more and more land from the indigenous population who loved those crazy crackers so much that they waved American flags while eating apple pie on the backs of giant eagles, and brought a few darker-skinned individuals over, gave them work, housed and fed them…Texas is fine with whatever dangerous bullsh*t is included in those foldy-papery-things kids sometimes read in class.
As we noted last year, Texas textbooks contain some insane material:
- Instructional materials that say human racial differences can be traced to Noah’s ark.
- Many courses teach that the Bible is “the written word of God,” and is literally true.
- Many courses teach that the Earth is approximately 6,000 years old.
- Many textbooks attempt to evangelize; the forward of one textbook states, “May this study be of value to you. May you fully come to believe that ‘Jesus is the Christ, the son of God.’ And may you have ‘life in His name.’”
- Some students are being taught that Judaism is a “flawed” and “incomplete” religion.
- In many “comparative religion” courses, only End-of-Times Protestantism is taught.
- The coursework for many of these classes is simply memorizing certain passages from the Bible.
- Students are taught that the United States is meant to be a Christian nation; phony quotes from the Founding Fathers are placed alongside actual quotes to “prove” this.
The Statesman reports that history and religious scholars hired to conduct a review of proposed social studies textbooks to be adopted this fall are rife with misinformation. The reports released by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, a State Board of Education watchdog, were chilling.
“Their findings say several textbooks include biased statements that inappropriately portray Muslims negatively, give a lack of attention to Native American peoples and culture and give undue legitimacy to neo-Confederate arguments about states’ rights and the legacy of slavery in the south, among other concerns. The scholars also said a number of government and world history textbooks “exaggerate Judeo-Christian influence” on the nation’s founding and have inaccurate accounts of other religions.
Ten university scholars reviewed the content of 43 history, government and geography textbooks that the State Board of Education is expected to adopt this fall. The State Board of Education will have a public hearing on the textbooks next week.”
Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, said a number of passages “essentially reflect the ideological beliefs of State Board of Education members rather than ‘factual history,'” The Statesman noted. However, some publishers managed to include the required material without “error or bias.”
Miller said that the problems nearly always date back to the curriculum standards adopted in 2010, which removed Thomas Jefferson from the curriculum and replaced him with John Calvin, refused to require that “students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others,” removed the word “democratic” from descriptions of the United States, as well as other distortions of American history.