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Child Abuse Goes National January 6, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Culture, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Education.

If you are the parent of a young child, you should be very worried about this story.

The Texas Board of Education has been working on a social studies curriculum that promotes radical right-wing ideology. This is the same group that in previous years adopted science standards that cast doubt on evolutionary theory and English standards that downplay critical thinking.

In social science they wish to suppress every dimension of U.S. history that is not dominated by white Christians.

This story would interest only Texans but for the fact that textbook publishers develop their product according to standards set by the largest states who represent more customers. Usually textbooks achieve balance because of the influence of the more liberal California. But California’s budget mess will prohibit their purchasing textbooks for the next few years. Thus, it is likely that, as Texas, goes so goes the nation.

And our children will be the worse for it.

Original drafts of the proposed social science standards mandated de-emphasizing civil rights leaders.

Civil rights leaders Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall — whose names appear on schools, libraries, streets and parks across the U.S. — are given too much attention in Texas social studies classes, conservatives advising the state on curriculum standards say.

“To have Cesar Chavez listed next to Ben Franklin” — as in the current standards — “is ludicrous,” wrote evangelical minister Peter Marshall, one of six experts advising the state as it develops new curriculum standards for social studies classes and textbooks. David Barton, president of Aledo-based WallBuilders, said in his review that Chavez, a Hispanic labor leader, “lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others.”

Marshall also questioned whether Thurgood Marshall, who argued the landmark case that resulted in school desegregation and was the first black U.S. Supreme Court justice, should be presented to Texas students as an important historical figure. He wrote that the late justice is “not a strong enough example” of such a figure.

One “expert” advising the board, David Barton, also advocates ignoring Anne Hutchinson, the early proponent of women’s rights and religious freedom and claims that Texas social studies books should discuss “republican” values, not “democratic” ones.

According to this recent story in the Washington Monthly, they also propose textbook standards that minimize the “emphasis on multiculturalism,” try to “exonerate” Joe McCarthy and teach the Texan student to “identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority.”

The Washington Monthly has a lengthy article featuring a blow-by-blow account of the activities of these right wing ideologues.

As our country becomes more multi-cultural and our society more deeply integrated into the global community, a few ignorant yahoos want to make sure our children are ill-equipped to get along in such a world.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com



1. Paul J. Moloney - January 9, 2010

It does seem strange that Christians would not want to be associated with Chavez, who was church affiliated to the point of incorporating that affiliation into his work, while wanting to be associated with Franklin, who would have nothing to do with any church affiliation.

2. Paul J. Moloney - January 9, 2010

Apparently some Christians in Texas have become so good at being Christian they have become atheists. To favor Franklin, at the expense of Chavez, is for them to undermine their own Christianity. To favor Franklin because of his accomplishments is to also imply that he was able to make these accomplishments because he was not associated with any Christian church. In other words, it implies, that if you want to accomplish anything, do not go to church. For these Christians to ignore Chavez, who invoked God for social justice, ( I am assuming Christians have the same God) is for them to ignore both God and social justice. In this case it is obvious they are ignoring social justice, which implies, that if you want social justice, do not become Christian, at least do not expect it from Christians, at least not from some Christians in Texas. I would think that atheists all over the world would be glad to know that some Texan Christians are on their side.

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