Should Christians and conservatives be allowed to impose what some consider their own version of "American history" on school students? That's the question facing Texas' Board of Education, as seven conservative members push an initiative to correct a perceived liberal bias in the state's proposed curriculum — emphasizing, for example, the rise of the Moral Majority and the NRA. Liberal activists say the conservative bloc is trying to "whitewash the country's past" by literally rewriting history textbooks. Who's right? (Watch a Fox report about Texas' effort to rewrite history books)
The Texas conservatives care about politics, not education: These fundamentalist Christians are turning our children into political pawns, says Ruth Calvo in Firedoglake, by jamming their religion and extreme conservatism into classrooms. And since Texas' influential decisions influence how other states' textbooks are written, they're "passing along their stupidity" to the rest of the nation's kids, too.
"Born again history; Texas hoe down"
Liberals started this fight: If anyone is trying to brainwash our children, it's the left, says Kelly Shackelford in Fox News. Liberals on a curriculum review panel triggered this battle by recommending the textbooks omit all mention of Christmas and overplay the role of relatively peripheral minorities, such as Wallace Amos (of Famous Amos cookies). The Texas conservatives are defending America's true history.
"Why the Texas textbook wars matter to every American"
The fight's spectacular, but the textbooks aren't changing much: It's hardly surprising this has become a war, reports Brian Thevenot and Niran Babalola in The Texas Tribune. The Board's (outgoing) conservative leader, Don McLeroy, a self-proclaimed "religious fanatic," has said education is "too important not to politicize." He's getting into skirmishes over religion, the inclusion of minorities, even the relative importance of country music vs. hip hop. But for all the fireworks, the Christian bloc doesn't appear poised to win any major victories.
"The revision thing"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: October 24, 2014
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- Why the government should pay every American child an allowance
Subscribe to the Week