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Texas' attempt to change their textbooks

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by dreunc1542, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    This is really sickening. Our education system is already severely flawed, and now one of, if not the, largest states for buying textbooks wants to try this crap:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/11/us/politics/11texas.html?hp.

    Just an excerpt: There have also been efforts among conservatives on the board to tweak the history of the civil rights movement. One amendment states that the movement created “unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes” among minorities. Another proposed change removes any reference to race, sex or religion in talking about how different groups have contributed to the national identity.

    And a longer story from The NYT Magazine a month or so back:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/magazine/14texbooks-t.html
     
  2. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    And people complain about liberal indoctrination in our schools...
     
  3. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    That's a good one....Reagan limiting the size of governmennt...Ha!

    You know if we had less teachers on these education panels and more "Real Americans" this nation would be better off. What do teachers know anyway?
     
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    Yeah, maybe the efforts of conservatives to limit the size of government doesn't get a chapter in the American History books because THEY HAVEN'T DONE IT!
     
  5. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    Not to get into a political debate here, but there are two things going on:

    1. Texas is the largest purchaser of textbooks in the country, so if TX mandates something, it's likely to be seen by most of the other 49 states, too. Textbook manufacturers make books primarily for TX first, and then adapt for the other states.

    2. Some books are better than others, but the general narrative of 20th century history (which I teach) tends to overstate the history of progressive movements (especially the populists, the Progressives, the New Deal) and understate those of conservative ones, or frame them negatively. For example, the two chapters dedicated to the New Deal in my last textbook somehow managed to barely mention FDR's court-packing scheme in one buried sentence and had virtually no room for criticism of the New Deal from the right (but plenty from the left), but the Reagan chapter had an entire section on AIDS and global problems. The book I teach out of now is significantly more politically-neutral.
     
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Why wouldn't Reagan's chapter have AIDs in it? And how could it not have global problems since his big accomplishment was tearing down the Berlin Wall?
     
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Can't wait for the chapter on the War of Northern Aggression.
     
  8. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    The Texas Freedom Network has been liveblogging today's hearing and expressing their disgust eloquently.

    http://tfninsider.org/2010/03/11/blogging-the-social-studies-debate-iv/
     
  9. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    As somone who was born amd mostly raised in Texas (I did seven of my 12 years of school there) and has spent most of the last 20 years dealing with Texas public schools, I must say that some of these people need to get over the fact that not everyone in the state is a rich WASP Republican.
     
  10. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    I just want a politically-neutral textbook to teach from. The one I used before wasn't.

    What Texas is doing is wrong from the other end. Keep the politics out of the books both left and right, or give both sides of every issue and move on. I make my students evaluate the Indian Wars, New Deal (pro and con), evaluate the arguments for and against the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ... I would like for the textbooks the students use to show multiple sides of a debate.

    Good teachers use the textbooks as a guide, but mostly as a supplement. Good teachers also give students multiple sides of an issue and let them decide which is correct. We switched books this year and, other than making a few minor changes to the wording of a few things, I haven't had to rewrite lessons at all. History is history.
     
  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, not every class is taught by a good teacher, though modern educational theory is pushing against just teaching the textbook.
     
  12. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    I recently became certified to teach in Texas, too.
    Public schools, in elementary particularly, allow for less than an hour per day of Social Studies.
    The emphasis is on math, science and language arts.
    It's state-organized lesson planning, too.
    They don't seem to care about social studies in the lower grades.
    The books tell of civil rights and hispanic contributions and general settling of the land stuff.
    It's fair enough lessons, but inner-city San Antonio kids that I deal with, for the most part, still struggle mightily to grasp it or even care about it.
     
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