So, we're a month into school, and life is getting back to normal (our normal, that is...), and I finally have a chance to relax. So, what do I want to blog about? Textbooks. Go figure...Seriously, though, I have been following a scary story in Texas regarding their Textbook Committee. I'd say you wouldn't believe it, but, by now, you've heard from some MP regulars all about the insanity from the capital of Secessionland...check out this article from the Houston Chronicle.
"Alright," you say, "No huge surprise...it's Texas, after all. So what's the big deal?" Well, it's a big deal because Texas and California are the largest textbook purchasers in the nation. That means millions of dollars of profits if your publishing company is able to close the deal. Which means that the textbook publishers will cater to whatever revisions those markets demand.
Now here's the terrifying part : whatever edition is adopted in Texas is then distributed across the nation. We're talking far beyond evolution vs. creationism here; this is revisionist history, out-and-out lies, and the pushing of an ultraconservative right-wing agenda. This is truly horrifying stuff, and it galls me that the same folks who complain about The President of The United States telling kids to study hard because it's a religious/political agenda are now pushing this unmitigated bullshit into the textbooks of schoolchildren across the land. No hypocrisy there, huh? From TPMMuckraker:
Marshall weighs in on the section of the proposed textbook standards we recently flagged that require knowledge of Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority. To that list, Marshall recommends adding "Jim Dobson (Focus on the Family) ... Rush Limbaugh ... and the National Rifle Association." And for the sake of balance, adds: I personally do not have a problem with adding an SE that would include liberal organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Move On.org, and the Sierra Club, provided the students are made aware of Planned Parenthood's funding of abortion clinics.
Now, if y'all want to teach your kids to secede, and that Phyllis Schlafly is a patriot, then fine. Home school your kids, or send them to a private, bible-thumping academy in an industrial park or church somewhere...But don't desecrate history by including biased, bigoted, false information in textbooks. Hey, Texas, you neglected to acknowledge the little detail that textbooks are heavy on the facts, especially history textbooks, of all things. Yeah, they kinda forgot about that little detail...
I am appalled by these actions, both as an educator and a parent. But most of all, I am disgusted by the concept of revisionist history being taught to a whole new generation of Americans as if it were gospel truth. And you'll love this...Curiously, when I went to the bookmark I had for the Chronicle article, the link said that the article did not exist. I had to backtrack through a few other links to find it again, but the original article was nowhere to be googled. Go figure...no surprises here...
I will continue to try to find the textbook company that is giving their galleys to the Texas textbook committee to edit, and when I do, I hope you'll join me in giving the company a piece of our collective mind. If nutjobs can call schools to tell them that The President has no right to speak to American schoolchildren, then it is our legal and moral responsibility to tell these publishers not to rewrite history for the sake of their multi-million dollar profits. Stay tuned for further developments!
Beautiful Saturday, sunny and hot. We're all headed to celebrate my twin nieces' birthday and have a dip in the pool. Family, fun and some well-earned R&R. I wish you all the same this weekend!