Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It's Home, but Sometimes I Wonder
About the great state of Texas that is. I'm sure everyone has seen the news stories regarding our illustrious State Board of Education's recent proposals to alter the state standards regarding the teaching of Social Studies and American History. Much has been made about the board's attempts to instill conservative religion into Texas education by re-wording some of the requirements and through the inclusion and elimination of several key figures in history...including the elimination of Thomas Jefferson as a key figure of The Age of Enlightenment! It is worth noting that Jefferson hasn't been completely erradicated from the curriculum only this one area of study. However, this is a key area of study as Enlightenment thinking heavily influenced the founding of our nation. And here in lies the rub with this particular group of SBOE members. They want the school children of Texas to be taught that the United States of America was founded solely on biblical principles.
You can find a few minutes from the meeting that made some of these hairbrainded decisions here. I tried to find the standards in their most current state of revision (which will be voted on in May) but was unable to.
Thankfully, the leader of this pack was voted out of office, as were several of his cronies. However, their terms aren't up until January 2011...enough time to do a lot of damage! I wanted him out so badly that I voted in the Republican primary just so I could vote for his challenger who is more moderate (a relative term here in Texas)! There wasn't a candidate for this position on the Democratic primary ballot.
I think the saddest part of this whole debacle for me is that it took this sort of extreme engineering by a very small group (15 members on the SBOE, seven of whom tend to push socially conservative views) to make the people of the state of Texas aware of what was happening right under their noses. The second saddest part is how many still remain unaware of what is going on or just don't care. Just shy of 116,000 people voted in the primary election in a district that includes all or part of 29 counties. The portion of our county covered alone has an eligible voting population that exceeds 116,000 people. The scary part is that only 860 votes seperated the two candidates.
Anyway, instead of just complaining I thought I would encourage everyone to take some action. Follow this link Start a Petition » to sign the petition at change.org and this one at Texas Freedom Network imploring that we Just Educate!