Messing with Texas textbooks
I see that California is at it again, this time threatening Texas over its recent history curriculum revisions. Now, as much as I'd love to take this opportunity to judge the relative merits of Texas and California in a good 'ole shoot 'em up, I think it's clear who'd win that fight. Sorry, Cali.
Anyway, to be honest, I think the Texas revisions range from incredibly misguided ("One Nation Under God" rather than separation of Church and State and studying many Confederate leaders) to understandable (ignoring hip hop - seriously, why should hip hop be included in a history book?) to right on (yes, a President, i.e. Reagan should be emphasized over a lifer Senator like Teddy Kennedy).
But all of this ignores a central truth - kids don't care. You can put whatever you want in a textbook, but it doesn't mean the kids are going to be indoctrinated by it. They're not even paying attention. Really. If textbooks have been so liberally slanted for years and years, then why is America basically a center-right country? Shouldn't we be a bunch of bleeding hearts due to the influence of those evil liberal textbooks?
I went to Catholic school for eight years and was taught world history by a Catholic priest. If I can emerge from that experience without believing that Anne Boleyn was a six-fingered witch-whore then I'm pretty sure that today's 7th graders can emerge from their Texas education without believing that Jefferson Davis & Abraham Lincoln were morally equivalent.
Personally, I fervently believe that history books shouldn't even touch events until they're at least 50 years past. We don't have the proper perspective to understand them until then, much less teach it. Of course, that opinion still implies that kids are listening. They're not.
This whole hullabaloo isn't even about the kids. It's about school boards "sticking it" to academics. It's a war of words that, like Shakespeare would say (are they still learning him?) is "full of sound and fury signifying nothing".
Posted by kris at May 24, 2010 10:52 AM
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|# May 24th, 2010 11:56 AM BVBigBro|
|Perhaps, as Ann Althouse suggests, you should read the Texas standards before commenting on them. |
|# May 24th, 2010 12:00 PM kris|
|A) If it's Ann Althouse what she really meant to say was "Perhaps you should talk about me and wonder about what I think and then go read the Texas standards"
B) Basically I'm saying there are some things in the standards that are stupid, some smart, some irrelevant, so basically what you'd expect from anything.
C) My point is that it doesn't matter what the standards are because kids don't care or listen.
|# May 24th, 2010 7:41 PM BVBigBro|
|Perhaps you should read the standards, as they contain nothing that implies Lincoln and Davis were morally equivalent. |