Tag Archives | Texas
The Texas Board of Education is seeking to rewrite certain portions of their state’s history books with their version of conservatism.
Among the proposed changes are reducing the scope of Latino history and culture, removing hip hop music from a list of important cultural movements, portraying Joseph McCarthy in a more positive light, and downplaying Thomas Jefferson’s influence in the intellectual origins of America.
Yes, Thomas Jefferson.
In his place, they want to highlight St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and William Blackstone.
Read more about it on Yahoo News.
Craig Malisow writes on Houston Press:
… Read the rest
Smith County (East Texas) judges and juries have long had a reputation of meting out severe, some might say ridiculous, punishment for drug convictions. And Henry Wooten’s case is no exception: the 54-year-old Tyler man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for possessing slightly more than four ounces of pot. Wooten actually got off easy — the prosecutor asked the jury to give him 99 years. (We just hope TDCJ can free up room for this menace to society; maybe the state can release a child molester or serial arsonist to find a cell for Wooten.)
While the sentence may be asinine, we can’t help but feel Wooten brought much of this upon himself — mostly by choosing to be both a pothead and live in Tyler, when clearly that calls for an either/or scenario. But Wooten could have taken at least a few steps to minimize his chances of being busted so easily, and Hair Balls would like to lay out a few of these so that other lovers of the weed in Smith County can take heed.
Does a third of the population believe that “The Flinstones was a documentary”? In a poll, one out of three Texans say that humans and dinosaurs lived together at one point. Oh, and, the majority say that humanity did not develop from an earlier species. The Texas Tribune reports:
Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, and more than half disagree with the theory that humans developed from earlier species of animals, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
[Professor David] Prindle recall[s] a line from comedian Lewis Black. “He did a routine a few years back in which he said that a significant proportion of the American people think that the ‘The Flintstones’ is a documentary,” Prindle says. “Turns out he was right.”
The New York Times asks, “How Christian were the Founding Fathers?” The Texas State Board of Education will be rewriting the standards for public school textbooks, and there’s a good chance that the resulting books (used across the country) will teach that America is a “Christian nation”:
The Christian “truth” about America’s founding has long been taught in Christian schools, but not beyond. Recently, however, some activists decided that the time was right to try to reshape the history that children in public schools study. Succeeding at this would help them toward their ultimate goal of reshaping American society.
As Cynthia Dunbar, a Christian activist on the Texas board, put it, “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”
From Think Progress:
For months, the Texas State Board of Education has been hearing from “experts” about the direction of the state’s social studies curriculum and textbook standards. The advice to the 15-member board — which is composed of 10 Republicans — has included more references to Christianity, fewer mentions of civil rights leaders, George Wasington, and Abraham Lincoln.On Thursday and Friday last week, the State Board of Education took up these recommendations in a lengthy, heated debate. Some highlights of what the Republican-leaning board ended up deciding, and the debates that went on:
— On a 7-6 vote, the board decided to add “causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the National Rifle Association” to the curriculum.
[Read more at Think Progress]
Washington Monthly reveals how a small group of ultraconservative Texas residents has managed to rewrite the public school textbooks used across the entire nation:
“Evolution is hooey…the way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan.”
Views like these are relatively common in East Texas. But McLeroy is no ordinary citizen…[he] sits on the Texas State Board of Education, [and leads] an activist bloc that holds enormous sway over the body’s decisions.
As the state goes through the once-in-a-decade process of rewriting the standards for its textbooks, the faction is using its clout to infuse them with ultraconservative ideals. They aim to rehabilitate Joseph McCarthy, bring global-warming denial into science class, and downplay the contributions of the civil rights movement.