Last week’s public hearing on proposed social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools drew an interesting assortment of right-wing groups and ideologues. In fact, as the State Board of Education heard testimony inside the meeting room, Tea Partiers rallied in the lobby.
The “rally” — if you can call it that — seemed mostly to be a bust, with a fairly small turnout among supporters. In any case, speakers called on the state board to adopt new standards that essentially whitewash difficult problems and periods in American history. Focus on the positive, they urged.
Take slavery for example. Why bother teaching students that for centuries the American colonies and states built economies based on the labor of enslaved Africans? No, Tea Partiers want schools to focus instead on how America finally ended slavery. Otherwise, schools are supposedly “politicizing” American history.
Really? Well, see for yourself:
“The worst day in America beats the best day in any other country”? Really? We doubt slaves would have thought so.
And yes, that’s board member Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, smiling off to the side in a red sweater.