Maybe they’ll next push for a different Jefferson on the $2 billPosted: Friday, March 12, 2010
Don’t doubt the influence of Texas in the textbook market, and thus, its influence in shaping the public-school curriculum of the entire nation. Take it from me, as someone who once toiled in textbook publishing. Because their state buys a ton of textbooks, Texas has a huge say in what goes into textbooks nationwide. Profit-driven publishers bow down to the largest buyer, changing, tweaking, and adapting content to fit with the needs of the largest buyer in order to have their books “adopted” by that buyer. It’s a tremendous, exclusive deal for a publisher to have its books adopted by Texas. And, publishing-on-demand be damned, there are huge, profit-eating costs for a publisher to produce different versions of the same textbook for different states. So the biggest buyer dictates the content.
With Texas’ buying power, the kids in New York learn from the same textbooks (and therefore, the same curriculum) as kids in Texas.
So now our kids can read about how Stonewall Jackson was a role model for effective leadership, and the ideas in Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address were as good as Abraham Lincoln’s speeches, to say nothing of the apparently “unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes” among minorities the Civil Rights movement produced.
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.”)
Of course, those Christian beliefs are apparently also those of both Communist and Nazis, in the words of Glenn Beck. Which is fine, because at this rate, in another 50 years, we’ll all be forced to pray to a statue of Ronald Reagan, or suffer the consequences.