The real school indoctrination scandal

Conservatives recoiled in horror from Obama's bland speech to students last week. But for anyone truly interested in indoctrinating the next generation of voters, the nation's mass-market textbooks are the preferred battleground.

While opposition to Barack Obama's recent "study hard and stay in school" speech perhaps was not grounded in sober assessments of the facts, it did have roots in a much more plausible suspicion: that public schools are rigging tomorrow's politics by indoctrinating kids today. Such fears formed the basis of a special Fox News report—"Do You Know What Textbooks Your Children Are Really Reading"—hosted by the journalist and pundit Tucker Carlson. According to Carlson, the efforts of textbook writers to avoid language that might reinforce ethnic and gender stereotypes suggest an insidious plot. "Entire chunks of the English language have been banned from the classroom, liquidated in a PC purge," Carlson writes in a companion article at FoxNews.com.

What's worse, according to Carlson, is the "hard-edged propaganda that now suffuses history textbooks. A thorough cover-to-cover reading of almost any high school history text leaves you with the impression that the United States is at best embarrassing, and at worst a menace to world peace."

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