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Old 02-15-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
kennyc
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School boards, Religion and Politics...

Totally off E-Reader topics but this fascinating article about Social Studies and School boards etc. caught my eye.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/ma...exbooks-t.html

How Christian Were the Founders?

LAST MONTH, A WEEK before the Senate seat of the liberal icon Edward M. Kennedy fell into Republican hands, his legacy suffered another blow that was perhaps just as damaging, if less noticed. It happened during what has become an annual spectacle in the culture wars.

Over two days, more than a hundred people — Christians, Jews, housewives, naval officers, professors; people outfitted in everything from business suits to military fatigues to turbans to baseball caps — streamed through the halls of the William B. Travis Building in Austin, Tex., waiting for a chance to stand before the semicircle of 15 high-backed chairs whose occupants made up the Texas State Board of Education. Each petitioner had three minutes to say his or her piece.

.....

See link above for the rest.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:30 AM   #2
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you know, between the Texas and Kansas boards of education, forward progress could be set back, ohhhh about 400 years
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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The article is not the first to explore the problems of Texas and textbooks. An excellent study of the problem is Diane Ravitch's The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (2004). It is available as an ebook.

It wouldn't be so bad if Texas simply wanted to make its own students laughingstocks, but schools in 46 other states are affected by what Texas decides is to be included and excluded. Fortunately, Texas has not yet figured out how to ban from within its borders books that tell historical and scientific truths, but I suspect that they are working on that as well.

Ultimately, the real test will come when its graduating students find that they are accepted only at fundamentalist and Texas universities because they do not meet the educational requirements to pass entrance exams elsewhere.

Texas does stand on its own in many ways these days. Consider the recent criminal prosecution of a nurse for reporting possible medical misconduct to the medical licensing board -- better to let a Texas doctor to malpractice than to permit someone to complain. Or the 3-way Republican primary for governor -- each candidate moving further and further off the right side of the radar screen. One candidate was quoted as saying that she was upset that she wasn't allowed to carry her concealed handgun inside a grocery store. Did she think the cans of pork and beans were going to attack her?

I'm waiting for one of the 3 to come out and say that the Alabama professor who shot her colleagues this weekend is an American hero because (a) she showed the value of unrestricted access to guns, (b) she killed people who were possibly un-American, and (c) the University of Alabama is a hotbed of anti-American activity. Then the candidates can proclaim that because the murders were committed while she was exercising her 2nd amendment rights, she committed no crime -- it could only be a crime if the murders had been committed using some instrument other than a gun.

I have no doubt her name will be forwarded in the Texas schoolbook debate for a place of honor in the history pages.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:50 PM   #4
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Please allow me to take this opportunity to ask that, when discusing issues that have potential to be hot-topic items, we all keep our heads about us and remain polite to one another and not be disrespectful of others' beliefs and creeds.

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Old 02-15-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pshrynk View Post
Please allow me to take this opportunity to ask that, when discusing issues that have potential to be hot-topic items, we all keep our heads about us and remain polite to one another and not be disrespectful of others' beliefs and creeds.

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Yes, and certainly no intention of triggering anything by posting this, but it is an area that I'm fascinated with.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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There is generall a lot of lobbying by "liberal" groups at those meetings, as well. The story was silent on that influence. But the story was not about the influences brought to bear on the Board, it was about a block of members who are very conservative.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:54 PM   #7
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There is generall a lot of lobbying by "liberal" groups at those meetings, as well. The story was silent on that influence. But the story was not about the influences brought to bear on the Board, it was about a block of members who are very conservative.
True. There was information on the "watchdog" groups and people as well.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
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I've read that many folks believe that California has far too much influence on the nation's textbooks. In that case, it's the conservatives complaining about the liberals' power.
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