At the Texas SBOE, the fail flows like a river


If you’ve been following the Texas Freedom Network’s blog, odds are your heart rate has been boosted to lethal levels over the insanity of the Texas State Board of (Mis)Education’s attempts to rewrite American history so that social studies textbooks reflect right-wing Christianist agitprop. (McCarthy was a hero, Phyllis Schlafly is as important as the Founding Fathers, and the Civil Rights Movement was really overrated.) This is dangerous stupidity. And the degree to which these assclowns are so wedded to wingnut ideology that they cannot do basic fact checking is illustrated by the revelations in this article. Just go read it for yourself. It’s a jaw-dropping level of idiocy. Clearly, there is no bottom for Terri Leo and her ship of fools to scrape.

Comments

  1. says

    Wait, they're basing people's artistic or cultural achievements as worthy based on their (or apparently someone else with the same last name) political views?So, do we have to dump China Town now? Are they not going to teach Dali in art class due to his sexual indulgences? Scrub out Allen Turing from WWII history? Hell I'd bitch even if they were saying to take out Ayn Rand, and I think she was a C U N double hockey sticks (not due to her politics), because she DID contribute to history, politics and literature and does deserve to be taught about.

  2. DavidCT says

    The behavior of these radical board members is an embarrassment to all reasonable Texans not just us heathens. In this case the more publicity the better. They control 7 of the 15 votes on the board and have had little trouble getting one more vote to push through their agenda. It is critical to see that there is opposition at the polls to see that they are replaced. Stupidity in public can only make change easier.

  3. says

    David:I agree. I'm embarrassed by our Board. Just fyi, I voted in the last elections, but the _local_ School Board votes were posted in my area as "Round Rock"–not Austin. So, I didn't look them up or do any research, since I officially live in "Austin." Imagine my shock to get to the polls and see School Board races on MY ballot?! I was sick to have to skip those votes–but as I was completely ignorant of the candidates, I couldn't vote.Meanwhile, I agree with Ing. With regard to Marx especially–love him or hate him, he was a giant on the world stage in terms of contribution. To consider his ideas too dangerous to even learn about is shocking. But I'm always shocked to hear from people who think some ideas or knowledge need to be kept hidden. If you treat it like it doesn't exist, then maybe the kids won't ever think to read it themselves. And that often works. If a kid doesn't go on to college, many of them won't ever read any other informational books again–unless they impact their jobs. Information not taught by high school can become a nonoption for many. I recall my decision to read Marx for myself, and how shocked I was to see his ideas–which were so extremely different than what I'd been conditioned to expect. Whether I agree with him or not–it's really disturbing to me that I had no clue what he was actually saying. But that's exactly the result the "ban him from the list!" crowd wants to achieve.

  4. Martin says

    I guess the SBOE wants "abstinence-only" history education: "But, but, but, if we tell kids about Marxism, they might actually go out and do it!"

  5. Martin says

    Be nice if it were that easy. This is one area of Texas politics where the Dems, as they so often do, have dropped the ball. While the Dems have chosen to focus their energies on major elections that they just can't win in Texas for love or money, like the governorship, the Republicans have rallied and fought hard for positions the Dems have blown off, like the SBOE. There they can implement a hard right wing agenda from the ground up, as it were. Consequently, the fundamentalist Republican bloc is supported by huge constituencies that progressives simply haven't got here. Now, the nationwide bad press the SBOE has gotten under McLeroy and his ilk has certainly been a source of frustration to them, and it's made a number of folks on the progressive side pull their heads out and realize something must be done. So yes, a number of people have announced they're running against the fundie bloc in the next elections. But that won't be soon enough to stop the damage they're already doing, and when the elections do come, it's doubtful whether a strong progressive candidate can muster up enough support to counter the massive church base the fundies enjoy. It really sucks at so many levels. The future of America, not just Texas, as a viable global scientific and economic power in the 21st century is teetering on the brink because of a bunch of Bible-thumpers pissed off that public schools aren't preaching Jebus enough.

  6. says

    It seems as if the rest of the country is falling prey to those forces. Would you say that Texas is a bellweather state when it comes to America's political values? It's hard to argue with the number of U.S. Presidents in the last 50 years who hailed from Texas.

  7. Martin says

    Would you say that Texas is a bellweather state when it comes to America's political values?I don't know if I could say that, but Texas certainly does influence the course of education in America. Texas buys such a vast number of textbooks that textbook publishers basically use the state's guidelines for books that end up being used nationwide. So, if educational standards are neutered in Texas, thus falls the country.

  8. says

    The whole part about wanting to take out the First Red Scare bothers me a lot, if it coincides (and I wouldn't be surprised if it did) with the general downplaying of the US' labour history. The fact is, we owe much of what we now consider normal (the eight hour day and minimum wages, notably, as well as a bunch of workplace regulations) to the labour movement of the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th, and it was largely composed of radicals and socialists. The labour history of the United States is quite bloody (the Haymarket Affair being a prime example) and the labour movement was in fact the biggest target of the first Red Scare. I wouldn't say it's necessary to put great focus on the subject in every history book, but a deliberate attempt to remove mentions of the First Red Scare is something to worry about.

  9. says

    The Atheist Experience is the beacon on the shore of the river fail.If you wade long enough, you'll see them calling to you off in the distance. Go to them, and be saved.Heh, saved.

  10. says

    "While the Dems have chosen to focus their energies on major elections that they just can't win in Texas for love or money, like the governorship, the Republicans have rallied and fought hard for positions the Dems have blown off, like the SBOE"I'm starting to think that the Dems massive epic fails politically is so staggering it's not a valid option to support them. Republicans in the last 8 years had epic fails of policy but darn gonnit they got that dead stinking opossum of law passed! Dems have all the advantages the Reps did back then and seem to lack the testicular fortitude to actually do anything with it. There's not sinking to their level and then there's refusal to be effective and disorganization. And this is despite the support of the liberals and atheist community as a whole. I'm starting to think it might actually be easier to cause a paradigm shift in the Republican party and try to push the less reasonable elements of that out of power, ie it's easier to make the Republican party reasonable than make the Democrat party effective. But then we hit the big brick wall of fail from the religious right and their Scrooge McDuck money swimming pools. Fuck…maybe moving to a country where bat squeak insanity hasn't been ignored for so long and we still got a chance to effect things is the best option -_-.

  11. says

    I'm starting to think it might actually be easier to cause a paradigm shift in the Republican party and try to push the less reasonable elements of that out of power, ie it's easier to make the Republican party reasonable than make the Democrat party effective.You can't be serious.Yes, I agree that the Democratic party continues to be laughably ineffective, but if anything the Republicans have gotten worse, no made any moves towards reasonable.The things that have been accomplished this year, small though they are, are generally at least positive: a new Supreme Court justice, some well placed stimulus dollars, the very big slowing of job loss (hasn't been turned around yet but it's approaching zero).More significantly, though, is that we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the Democratic Congress has not proposed any new disastrous legislation of the sort that we got weekly under Bush. No new wars have been started; no new federal legislation has been introduced attempting to ban abortion or gay marriage; no massive kickbacks for the rich; no slashing of science budgets or gutting of regulation.This isn't a trivial point. I'm surprised that people can have such short memories that they don't see a tremendous difference between doing the things that the Bush administration did, and NOT doing the things that the Bush administration did. Even if Congress had not passed a single new bill of note in the last year, this would be a tremendous improvement from the preceding eight years.As I've said before about elections: refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils only makes sense, if you are genuinely satisfied with the greater of two evils winning.

  12. says

    "More significantly, though, is that we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the Democratic Congress has not proposed any new disastrous legislation of the sort that we got weekly under Bush. No new wars have been started; no new federal legislation has been introduced attempting to ban abortion or gay marriage; no massive kickbacks for the rich; no slashing of science budgets or gutting of regulation."This is a good point putting things in perspective…but I can't help but thinking of Paton's assessment on how you can't get anything done by playing defensive.

  13. says

    See I wish we had someone who is a republican here to explain why they are staying with the party despite it seemingly being infested with a rotting core of stupid and veins of pulsating pure evil.

  14. says

    despite it seemingly being infested with a rotting core of stupid and veins of pulsating pure evil.That's an apt description, although it could be applied to members of all "sides."That being said, I must contend the usage of the word 'evil', you know, being an atheist and all ;)

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