The Texas Board of Education has revised its curriculum to include right-wing talking points on history, economics and social studies. Influenced by new board Chairwoman Gail Lowe, a creationist appointed by Governor Rick Perry, and her predecessor, dentist Don McLeroy (pictured with Lowe), Texas was able to strong-arm textbook publishers to do it their way.
Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a “constitutional republic,” rather than “democratic,” and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.
“We have been about conservatism versus liberalism,” said Democrat Mavis Knight of Dallas, explaining her vote against the standards. “We have manipulated strands to insert what we want it to be in the document, regardless as to whether or not it’s appropriate.”
Textbook publishers listen to Texas because they’re a big client, and so what happens in Texas doesn’t stay in Texas, and influences the way these subjects are taught all over the country.
In addition to learning the Bill of Rights, the board specified a reference to the Second Amendment right to bear arms in a section about citizenship in a U.S. government class.
Conservatives beat back multiple attempts to include hip-hop as an example of a significant cultural movement.
Numerous attempts to add the names or references to important Hispanics throughout history also were denied, inducing one amendment that would specify that Tejanos died at the Alamo alongside Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. Another amendment deleted a requirement that sociology students “explain how institutional racism is evident in American society.”