History textbooks - Texas conservatism?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
History textbooks - Texas conservatism?
2
Wed, 03-17-2010 - 10:29am

U.S. history textbooks could soon be flavored heavily with Texas conservatism

The nation’s public school curriculum may be in for a Texas-sized overhaul, if the Lone Star state’s influential recommendations for changes to social studies, economics and history textbooks are fully ratified later this spring. Last Friday, in a 10-to-5 vote split right down party lines, the Texas State Board of Education approved some controversial right-leaning alterations to what most students in the state—and by extension, in much of the rest of the country—will be studying as received historical and social-scientific wisdom. After a public comment period, the board will vote on final recommendations in May.

Don McElroy, who leads the board’s powerful seven-member social conservative bloc, explained that the measure is a way of "adding balance" in the classroom, since "academia is skewed too far to the left." And the board's critics have labeled the move an attempt by political "extremists" to "promote their ideology."

The revised standards have far-reaching implications because Texas is a huge market leader in the school-textbook industry. The enormous print run for Texas textbooks leaves most districts in other states adopting the same course materials, so that the Texas School Board effectively spells out requirements for 80 percent of the nation’s textbook market. That means, for instance, that schools in left-leaning states like Oregon and Vermont could soon be teaching from textbooks that are short on references to Ted Kennedy but long on references to conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20100315/ts_ynews/ynews_ts1253?om_rid=CZXZwa&om_mid=_BLn3R8B8GcIg$0&

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Thu, 03-18-2010 - 8:08pm

It's scary. I stress to my students that they don't need to teach with a textbook as their guide, but many can't see any other way. The Texas domination of textbooks isn't new, but it's getting a lot scarier with so many people with agendas who don't respect the rights and opinions of others, altering content

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
Wed, 03-17-2010 - 10:49am
I'm not surprised with this. Additionally, most US history texts report erroneous information and out-right lies. I suggest everyone read "Lies My Teacher Told Me." While some of the information in the book was old to me (thanks to my dad for being an active history buff), much of it is new to me and completely eye-opening. As someone whose name escapes for the moment once wrote, history is written by the winners, not the losers. I would add to that: But at what price?
  "Aut dosce, aut disce, aut discede"