Blog powered by Typepad

« Racing to the Top on Failed Reform | Main | "Measuring and Punishing" »

Comments

Nicole Batta

I wonder how the professional educators who drafted the original curriculum document feel about not only Mr. McLeroy's amendments, but also the fact that most of the board voted with him on such clearly biased revisions. Surely those educators will agree with the lone voice at the meeting that they are rewriting history. Even if they agree politically with Mr. McLeroy, surely they would have a difficult time following such a slanted curriculum in their classroom on ethical grounds alone...
I would hope most people would want their child to recieve an education that is open to multiple view points and perspectives and is not slanted toward one political view or another (and I would submit that determining birth control as a form of eugenics is most definitely a political view). I would also want to know what those 100 people who showed up at the meeting to express their opinion thought of the amendements made. It appears unlikely their voice was truly heard.

akla

Ms. Batta, you will do well to educate yourself on politics and policy making. I find most teachers do not have a clue nor ever seem to be involved.

This is typical and a similar version played out within the last year and half here in Indiana in regards to Social Studies books. Mr. Shane and others of the stae board did not think that the books reflected a pro american, pro israel stance in that one of the books on the adoption list suggested that palestinians may not be fully to blame for all the war and unrest in the area.

He also wanted some other waffly language revised to make stronger statements concerning how great america and americans were. These are the same people who always complain about revisionist history, yet they are the ones who want to revise it (or stick to falsehoods) when the truth and facts do not support their ideology.

I am surprised they have not attacked our evolution standards.

Shanna Stuckey

How has education become so political that we now leave the decisions of what our children learn in the hands of so few people? I would be interested in reading the original document and reviewing the specific amendments that were made. Did the amendments that were made exclude specific diverse viewpoints? And on what basis? It is disheartening to think that the voice and opinion of these few people could potentially rewrite history.

Judy White

My concern is who decides what material is included in our textbooks. History textbooks should state the facts. However, facts can be misconstrued and teacher bias can factor into how the facts are presented. When a textbook includes controversial events, can the writers truly be unbiased? The more controversial issues, the more difficult it is to remain unbiased.

a student

The one fact that shocked me from this article was that Texas spends 48 million dollars on textbooks annually! Not that I think textbooks aren't useful, but with all the technology and other educational resources that are available today, Texas should think about using some of that money towards these resources. Especilly when they have a 22 billion dollar educational fund each year. The Texas state board of education is running Texas' education system very efficient by having what seems to be a bias conservative curriculum taught to students by using textbooks with specific information in them to favor Texas state standards throughout the state. I was surprised to hear that California's text books are so specific about what they want their students to learn that other states won't even follow their lead.

I was a little unclear as to what the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) were. Are these Texas' educational standards? Just by reading the title of the TEKS, one can tell that Texas uses a very efficient approach towards education.

Kate Greven

Does McLeroy live in his mom's basement? That seems to be where people like him come from. I wonder if he also strong-arms the many ludicrous surveys that AOL & Yahoo put out - answering them under a variety of pseudonyms in order to make the surveys grind his personal ax. I didn't see anywhere in the article what his qualifications are, IF any, to be able to "rewrite history", as one committee member stated. People like him ARE the argument for eugenics.Or maybe a muzzle. And another question is, why did the committee so readily vote in all of his requests sans the only one who was very publicly (albeit hypocritically) Catholic? I have relatives in Texas, and they tell me that there are plenty of them there. As his list of what to include (formal curriculum) is bizarre, I wonder what the informal and hidden curricula in the schools winds up being? As an adult who learned the bulk of my world history in the 60's, I'm still recovering from all of the omissions and "Disneytizing" of history. MCLeroy is digging that hole deeper and certainly wider. I'm glad as hell that my tax dollars are not directly funding that mess.

Akla

As I said, many of you do not seem to have a clue. The educators involved in the process of writing the standards do just that, and then their role is over. The politicians decide what is included in standards and books and curriculum guides.

As for Texas, they have looked at using online books, ebooks, computers etc, but these have not saved money due to pricing structures of the publishers--look at your own textbooks and ask why they cost sooooo much.

Greed. As for Texas and the TEKS, that is their ISTEP+ and ours is just like theirs--as ours is just like all the other criterion referenced standards based exams--we all just include a few different specific state history questions and set different cut scores. I know, the test publishers will explain how each state is different, but that is how they make their billions-they convince each state test director that they totally revise and recreate a new test bank for that state instead of pulling and culling from a large data set of questions. :)

Texas tends to spend much on upper class schools and leave the minority schools to rot. They have tried merit pay-ran out of money and shut down, lying about data and results-see Bushes first superintendent of public instruction, they have tried adopting national state standards. We are now moving our standards, judged among the best in the nation, from national standards to international standards. And where will that get us?

How do your teachers teach you to teach to the standards and teach the standards? How do you measure your success?

What of requiring you to learn to teach phonics? That is the new ed requirment from the IDOE.

And remember, history is always biased towards the victor. Schlafly and Gingrich and robertson et al were first upset that revisionists back in the mid to late 60's were trying to say that George Washington and other founders were not exactly like we had all been taught. He did not chop down the cherry tree-that was a made up story to teach honesty (a lie to teach truth), and yes, the founders like george and jefferson all ownded slaves and many had liasons with their slaves. And all kinds of other little facts were put forth that the right wing was upset about. They thought it best to teach morality and honesty and the American Way to our students through falsehoods. Now the right wing is the revisionist faction, wanting to delete all of the new stuff from textbooks and put us back on that narrow path of American Imperialism led by God that they so well liked. Telling stories that detract from that, such as massacres at Indian villages by soldiers, or slave stories, or stories of women and their fight to get recognized as land owners, voters and people in the US of A, or perhaps a different take on Nam or talking of civilian casualties or MLK and racism, all lead to the downfall of our moral basis for our society.

And if we talk social studies, we must always declare that our society is the best, no multicultural grey areas. Oh, and our religion is best too.

The comments to this entry are closed.