Rewriting the Textbooks of Texas

¡Que muchos aplausos! for the Texas Tribunes Brian Thevenot and his report on “Hijacking Texas History.” Thevenot’s take is the best reporting Bookbread has so far come across on the issue of Writing Textbooks in Texas. Some highlights:

So far, much of the squabbling has involved the exclusion of particular historical figures, including the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, and labor leader Cesar Chavez. But beneath such spats lie far deeper ideological tussles, over disputed Biblical underpinnings of the nation’s founding; the notion of America as uniquely superior, even divinely ordained; and the proper context and credit in exploring the struggles of oppressed minority groups….

The ambitions of some board members and their appointees extend well beyond the recent past. Two of the six expert reviewers are evangelists rather than educators or historians and have argued for extended and disputed explorations of Christianity’s role in the nation’s founding to be included in the curriculum. Separately, they have skewered the notion of devoting more study to racial and other minority groups….

[Bill Ames] wrote of the upcoming state board meeting: “Item-by-item, motions will be made and passed to accept the changes. Textbook publishers, bound by the standards, will publish pro-America textbooks that are used, not only in Texas, but also across the country. The process will be the history revisionists’ worst nightmare. How can one be so confident of the outcome? Because the SBOE seems able to win every curriculum battle. The left always loses in Texas….”


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