Rewriting History Texas-Style
Posted on Mar 13, 2010
Texas’ Board of Education has approved a new social studies curriculum with a conservative seal of approval. After three days of debate the board voted to change the curriculum to explicitly present Republican philosophies and conservative leaders in a more positive light.
The new curriculum was voted in 10 to five, with all the Republicans voting “yes” and all the Democrats voting “no.” The changes include substituting the phrase “Richard M. Nixon’s role” with “Richard M. Nixon’s leadership,” and emphasizing minimal government intrusion and taxation when discussing the birth of American capitalism. —JCL
The New York Times:
After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.
The vote was 10 to 5 along party lines, with all the Republicans on the board voting for it.
The board, whose members are elected, has influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks. In the digital age, however, that influence has diminished as technological advances have made it possible for publishers to tailor books to individual states.
In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state.
Board member Don McLeroy, a dentist, has led the charge to give the social studies curriculum a more conservative bent for the entire state of Texas.