Coming in next to last in spending, Texas isn’t exactly the paragon of the US education system. Moving beyond just trying to sneak creationism into science classrooms, Texas has sunk to new lows recently, as a review of proposed social studies textbooks shows that “several … were rife with religious and conservative biases that … distort history,” the Huffington Post reported.
The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund (TFN), a non-profit organization, conducted the review last month and found the inaccuracies. The TFN did say, however, that it was likely the state’s standards rather than the textbook manufacturers that are the root of the problem.
“In all fairness, it’s clearly that the publishers struggled with these flawed standards and still managed to do a good job in some areas,” said TFN president Kathy Miller. “On the other hand, a number of textbook passages essentially reflect the ideological beliefs of politicians on the state board rather than sound scholarship and factual history.”
HuffPo did a review of the Texas social studies standards and found some “troubling ideas:”
- Students are told to question the legal doctrine of the separation of Church and State.
- Slavery and segregation are glossed over; some books do not mention the Ku Klux Klan, sharecropping, or Jim Crow, and only mention segregation once.
- Capitalism is promoted as a superior system; standard includes the requirement that students be able to “explain why a free enterprise system of economics developed in the new nation, including minimal government intrusion, taxation, and property rights”
- Students learn about “McCarthyism, and the House Un-American Activities Committee, the findings of which were confirmed by the Venona Papers,” even though scholars say the papers do not provide justification for McCarthy’s actions.
Basically, the Texas State Board wants to create generations of students that believe America really was founded as a Christian nation and the founding fathers wanted religion in the government, the ending of slavery was the ending of racism completely, capitalism is great, and McCarthy was right.
If it wasn’t already obvious that the Texas government had completely sold its soul to the Republican Party (aka the Koch brothers), inflicting this dishonest version of history upon its children should clear up any lingering doubt.