March 27th, 2010

ATLA do not want!

Get Your Politics Out of Our Textbooks

At first I thought this was a joke or ridiculous rumor, but I should have known better. It turns out to be true.

NY Times: Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change

There is so much FAIL in this that I almost get incoherent thinking about it. However:

"@cleolinda RT @txvoodoo: Via @billwhitefortx - email Rick Perry to oppose TX horrible new textbook ideas: http://bit.ly/9mARZt"

Apparently at the very least it is easy to register one's negative opinion of such changes to someone who might be able to fix this ridiculous action on the part of some of our politicians and fellow citizens.

"But you don't live in Texas!" you say. "Why do you care?" Well, because:

a) My family is a family of teachers. I care, as truly good teachers do, about the education of all young people; I value their place in the world, and the choices they will eventually make, and think that it's important for them to receive the most balanced view of our history and political system that we can present, so that they can make their life choices based on understanding and thought, rather than on blind rhetoric. And:

b) I am an attorney. I fully believe in fairness and in knowing all sides of a case before making a decision. This doesn't stop when I'm not considering an actual case. I think it is important in any decision-making. I think it is important for each person. And I think this action of the Texas Board of Education will negatively affect the abilities of those educated with these textbooks to understand all sides of historical or economical events and make decisions accordingly. And:

c) "@cleolinda: Re: TX textbooks: my understanding is that those textbooks will also be used across the country. It does affect you if you're in the U.S." And:

d) Even if that's NOT the case, Texas folk don't STAY in Texas. And people visit Texas. And Texas is one of our 50 states, and a big one, with significant voting power. Each citizen of this country has the power to affect the life and experiences of others, and the power to affect our political future. Do you really want the next generation to go around replying to political discussion or debate with statements like, "Over 200 years of decision-making, beginning with the words of Thomas Jefferson? We don't believe that! Ignore it! Our textbooks tell us there shouldn't be a separation of church and state! So let's vote accordingly!" I mean, really. Our country deserves better than that.

Anyway. If you care about this issue, please do something about it before May, when the Board of Education will take a final vote. One way is to email Governor Perry about it. I did. It's easy. They even have the letter already written, although I added some things at the beginning of mine.

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First Amendment to Post from Texas gal dachelle: "The Texas Freedom Network is a political action group that's fighting the textbook changes. I've donated and signed their petitions."

Second Amendment to Post: Here are a few more articles on the subject:

The Associated Press report.

And Reuters.

And the Dallas Morning News, which Reuters cites as reporting "some fine stuff on this and related subjects."

Please read the "Lasting Impact" section of that last article to see why YOU SHOULD CARE even if you don't live in Texas.