Maybe they’ll next push for a different Jefferson on the $2 bill

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.

Oh, and to quote WhiskeyFire: “How do you omit the guy who helped to write the Declaration of Independence,” Ms. Dunbar?

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.

Advertisements

3 Comments on “Maybe they’ll next push for a different Jefferson on the $2 bill”

  1. jen says:

    good grief. just what we need. i never knew texas had that kind of influence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For the real facts about the Texas Social Studies standards, go to http://www.juststatethefacts.com.

  3. Icepick says:

    Nice site. No links to the curriculum itself, though. Makes it easier to cherry-pick your own facts to state, don’t you think? I’m happy to do that myself, Mr. FactStater, with a link to boot:

    http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/teks/social/HS_US_TEKS_amended.pdf

    To wit, my very own cherry-picking from the high school curriculum edits:

    “Describe how McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the arms race, and the space race increased Cold War tensions and how the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government.”

    But nothing about how McCarthy’s persecution of innocent American citizens ruined lives and careers?

    “describe … John F. Kennedy’s role in the Cuban Missile Crisis”

    But the only direct mention of Richard M. Nixon is his “leadership role in the normalization of relations with China and the policy of détente.” Though Texas wins a point for including Watergate as just another apparently routine scandal, mentioned second in a sentence following the Teapot Dome Scandal, but, hey, there it is right before the Clinton impeachment.

    “(D)escribe the causes, key organizations, and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the National Rifle Association;”

    Nice add. I’d probably do the same if I held as good a hand as Texas’. Still, to their credit, there were no apparent additions to refer to dinosaurs as Jesus horses. Perhaps they can play that card in the next round.

    And, really, what did poor Bob LaFollette do to the Lone Star State to make them pull him out of the curriculum? I am, however, surprised by the deletion of H. Ross Perot. Was that a make-up call?

    Did Texas really need to insert the down-mouthed “muckrakers and” in front of “reform leaders” Upton Sinclair, Susan B. Anthony, and W. E. B. DuBois?

    I’m puzzled about deleting the suggestion (apparently not even a requirement) that “Selections may include a biography of Dwight Eisenhower, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, and Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham City Jail.”

    Was it Ike?

    Look, Texas can teach its students whatever it wants, as skewed as I and others may think it is. Facts are facts, but as this debate demonstrates, facts (and history) can skew toward a person’s (or entire state’s) bias. That’s Texas’ prerogative. But thanks to the greed-soaked textbook corporations, the rest of the country is forced to follow their lead, since Texas’ buying power dictates what content the textbook companies publish. I’m sure Texas would have the same problem if the City of San Francisco somehow hit the galactic lottery and suddenly had greater buying power than the Lone Star State. Just sayin’.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s