GOPers: Revisit the Social Studies Standards

Ever since the Texas State Board of Education became a battle ground in the culture wars, the Texas Freedom Network has tried to emphasize one point: education should not be a partisan issue. That message is now resonating with state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, with even Republicans expressing their concerns over the politicized distortions the state board injected into new social studies curriculum standards.

On Tuesday, top state House Republicans became the latest to join the chorus of critics calling on the state board to revisit the social studies standards approved by the board last year. As you know, those standards were highly politicized by a far-right faction of board members and touched off an international firestorm. The Texas Freedom Network, teachers and historians criticized board members for revising the standards to promote their own political and personal agendas.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that Texas House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; Public Education Chairman Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands; and House Administration Chairman Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; have publicly expressed their concern over the standards.

As Geren stated:

“These standards and the way they were developed just don’t pass the common-sense test. The law has a process laid out for how to write our state’s curriculum, and they thumbed their nose at it and wrote standards themselves.”

This comes about a month after the conservative Fordham Institute gave the standards a grade of “D.” And there are at least a dozen bills pending in the Texas Legislature that would do everything from stripping the board of some of its authority to completely eliminating it.

In today’s political climate, it’s a challenge to get the Ds and the Rs together on anything. But here we have politicians and interests groups from across political and partisan divides rallying around accurate history and quality public education.

The only ones still sticking to their guns are the people who made this an issue to begin with. In the same Express-News article, Board Member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, says there’s no more time to revisit social studies, that the Board has moved on to writing new standards for math and health education. Board Chair Gail Lowe has said as much of late, in addition to the defending the accuracy of the standards.

No time, Mr. Bradley and Chairwoman Lowe? You have plenty of time. If you haven’t noticed, the state is in a $27 billion hole, and we won’t have the money to buy the textbooks the standards were written for anytime soon. It’s not about your schedule; it’s about getting it right.

Defenders of the flawed standards have often tried to discredit critics as merely partisan. That argument was never valid and is even more absurd now.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted March 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    This fuss over standards are intended to influence what goes into textbooks when textbooks are dinosaurs in the digital era.

  2. jdg
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    revisit I mean

  3. jdg
    Posted March 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t they visit the evolution standards?

  4. Charles
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh, one more thing. If you have a gap between your upper middle incisors, say this by forcing air out the gap:

    “The people will no longer hear right doctrine.”

    C’mon. I know you cn do it.

  5. Charles
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I am looking for better stuff with the Texas SBOE.

    In the old days, when a person really was thought to deserve some sort of dire punishment, they would kill off all of their children and grandchildren before their eyes first. Then they would kill off mom or dad (or both) last so they would die with the knowledge that their whole genetic line would never again exist on the face of the Earth.

    Given the outlandish crimes of the Texas SBOE (and I do view them that way personally), I think Gail Lowe and her buddies have plenty of time. In fact, I hope they have time to see every one of their science and social studies TEKS children and grandchildren slaughtered before their eyes—and then have the Texas legislature dissolve the Texas SBOE forever. Then Gail and her friends would know how really badly that have screwed up and go out in historical shame.

    C’mon Texas. You are one of only a couple of states in the whole country that has an organization like the Texas SBOE, which has the ability to politicize education. Let’s join the 21st Century out there and get rid of these horrible science and social studies TEKS—and most of all—get rid of the Texas SBOE that created these little monsters.

  6. Ben
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff, David.

  7. Gordon S Fowkes
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    We also have to stamp out Sharia arithematics! Arabic numerals have got to go, or writing checks will rot your brain.

  8. David
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Update on Math standards:
    The Board has determined that the number IV is obviously a reference to the Four main figures in the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin, Trotsky, Martov and Stalin, so the number IV is no longer to be used. Also, the number V is obviously a reference to May V or “Cinco de Mayo”, so it is also out.
    As a result II+II=VI.
    Obviously Arabic numerals are a Muslim scheme to pave the way for Sharia law, as is Algebra.
    So we will be using Roman numerals from now on, but we’re changing the name to “Protestant numerals”.
    Texas State Board of Education
    Keeping Texas (and America) Strong.

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