Author Topic: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history  (Read 3399 times)

Jenn

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Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« on: March 12, 2010, 08:11:59 pm »
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AUSTIN, Texas — A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.

(snip)

Decisions by the board – made up of lawyers, a dentist and a weekly newspaper publisher among others – can affect textbook content nationwide because Texas is one of publishers' biggest clients.

(snip)

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."

Democrats did score a victory by deleting a portion of an amendment by Republican Don McLeroy suggesting that the civil rights movement led to "unrealistic expectations for equal outcomes."


We've been waiting for this vote all year. Like Prop 8, we just *knew* there was no way these changes would go through. We were told, more or less, that this foolishness was the work of one or two crackpots, and they were mocked as yokels. The worst part is that Texas is only second to California (I think) in textbook publishers, so what is voted on here will unquestionably affect your child w/i the next few years if s/he is American, REGARDLESS of whether s/he attends public, private, or charter schools. Remember, these are the people who were fighting to have Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall removed from textbooks. I've already sat through a lesson about Rosa Parks this year that never once mentioned the words "arrest" or "boycott". Every half decent teacher and TA in Texas is in tears today.

See also:
God, History And The Texas Public Schools: A Debate That Impacts All Of Us

*edit* Apparently, they also replaced Thomas Jefferson w/John Calvin, among other gems.
http://tfninsider.org/2010/03/11/blogging-the-social-studies-debate-iv/
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 08:53:03 pm by Jenn »

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 08:45:47 pm »
Good ol, Texas, leading America backwards one step at a time.

Offline Battle

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2010, 07:14:51 am »
Good ol, Texas, leading America backwards one step at a time.



Heh heh heh... ;D

Offline BmoreAkuma

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 05:51:17 am »
sighes

Now I'm curious. If what Obama is doing is considered "socialism", then what are the educators are doing then?

This is terrible, all forms of history good or bad should be written period. What is next our children will have creationism in their textbooks on how we our world was created? Will Charles Darwin be removed?

I notice an excellent point about textbooks being "outdated". In a way they are but at the same time most children in these schools will be reading from textbooks. These kids will have a huge wakeup call once they get into college. 
With these choices, I felt that the American black man only needed to choose which one to get eaten by; the liberal fox or the conservative wolf because both of them will eat him.

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 07:57:27 am »
sighes

I notice an excellent point about textbooks being "outdated". In a way they are but at the same time most children in these schools will be reading from textbooks. These kids will have a huge wakeup call once they get into college. 

If they get to college


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Offline moor

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 08:04:12 am »
Guess it's time to push for shifting away from text as a learning medium and towards smart terminals, and information hubs...  Textbooks are about 20 years behind the curve, for reasons all too similar to this..

Offline Open palm

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 07:59:18 pm »
Guess it's time to push for shifting away from text as a learning medium and towards smart terminals, and information hubs...  Textbooks are about 20 years behind the curve, for reasons all too similar to this..

I think that's as impractical as Arnold's laptop plan. What happens when somebody sneaks in Mein Kampf and Bible lessons in those electronic devices?
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Offline moor

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2010, 07:22:20 am »
Guess it's time to push for shifting away from text as a learning medium and towards smart terminals, and information hubs...  Textbooks are about 20 years behind the curve, for reasons all too similar to this..

I think that's as impractical as Arnold's laptop plan. What happens when somebody sneaks in Mein Kampf and Bible lessons in those electronic devices?

I think Arnold's plan was to give kids laptops and then expect IQ's to rise just because they had internet access.

I was thinking along the lines of providing access points to the open-domain and/or the larger publishing marketplace. Instead of buying a textbook from a publisher that is instantly outdated, you give educators their autonomy in crafting the curriculum using treatise, articles, public journals and the like... I think kids may benefit more not just from memorizing facts but also exposure to debating the ideas behind those facts...  in terms of supplies, yeh the initial outlay would be substantial, but perhaps subsidized ipads/kindles with wireless broadband access and licensing agreements with Amazon/Itunes to secure copyrights and various properties could go a long way to in developing a cheaper upgrade path as time went on?  

Instead of reading about James Baldwin in a footnote, students could actually download his works directly from the archive.  They could learn about the 100 Year War by actually reading historical documents, rather than some distilled synopsis.  We could shift the focus on learning through primary research, and actually prepare kids in elementary and junior high for college level study.  The school board would still have the final say on what would be allowed into the curriculum, and yes, it's probably a hell of a lot more work for individual teachers, but wouldn't it be worth it to not be be held in the grip of an oligopoly of backwoods publishers?

You could position this information hub in the school's library, (or replace it altogether) and have the librarians/information scientists coordinate the acquisition of the necessary materials.  Students could have encrypted access to the school's archives and gateway from home, or anywhere they could connect, provided they had proper encryption and passwords.

In actuality, I guess I've just described your typical college/grad school library setup, but with much more leveraged licensing and lending agreements, and more aggressive oversight to promote the school's curriculum, and protect students from obscenity/violent/hate speech (which they already have the authority to do.)  

Does that still sound like Arnold's plan?  If so, I'll give credit where it's due  :D
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 11:59:33 am by moor »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010, 07:48:24 am »
Instead of reading about Baldwin as a byline, students could actually download the relevant works directly from the book club/store.  Learn about the 100 Year War by actually reading historical documents, rather than a distilled synopsis.  Make the focus on primary research, and actually prepare kids in elementary and junior high for college level work.  The school board still has the final say in what gets allowed in for the year, and yeah, it's probably a hell of a lot of work for individual teachers, but wouldn't it be worht not having to be beholded to an oligopoly of backwoods publishers?

You could tie this information hub into the school's library, and have the librarians/information scientists coordinate the acquisition of the necessary materials.  In actuality, I guess I've just describe your typical college/grad school library setup, but with much more leveraged licensing and lending agreements. 

I think this is great. I have been advocating something like it for a while now. I think of it as Montessori for the 21st Century. The librarian / information scientist role is critical. You can do a white list proxy server that only allows access to approved sites. Balancing that with the need to find other sites that should be added requires some effort.
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Offline moor

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2010, 11:50:51 am »
One of the problems is going to be finding the $$$ for certifying/hiring the influx of MIS professionals willing to take on the task..  I know those fields can command some hefty salaries.  And not too mention the cost of the hardware... but as to the portion of cost going to infrastructure, you could sink that into the first 4-6 years.  I'd imagine partnerships with local broadband providers, software vendors, and hosting sites would be crucial.  Long term costs should be cheaper than the alternative...recycling tons of paper pulp and then buying anew. 

Offline Open palm

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2010, 08:48:29 pm »
Guess it's time to push for shifting away from text as a learning medium and towards smart terminals, and information hubs...  Textbooks are about 20 years behind the curve, for reasons all too similar to this..

I think that's as impractical as Arnold's laptop plan. What happens when somebody sneaks in Mein Kampf and Bible lessons in those electronic devices?

I think Arnold's plan was to give kids laptops and then expect IQ's to rise just because they had internet access.

I was thinking along the lines of providing access points to the open-domain and/or the larger publishing marketplace. Instead of buying a textbook from a publisher that is instantly outdated, you give educators their autonomy in crafting the curriculum using treatise, articles, public journals and the like... I think kids may benefit more not just from memorizing facts but also exposure to debating the ideas behind those facts...  in terms of supplies, yeh the initial outlay would be substantial, but perhaps subsidized ipads/kindles with wireless broadband access and licensing agreements with Amazon/Itunes to secure copyrights and various properties could go a long way to in developing a cheaper upgrade path as time went on?  

Instead of reading about James Baldwin in a footnote, students could actually download his works directly from the archive.  They could learn about the 100 Year War by actually reading historical documents, rather than some distilled synopsis.  We could shift the focus on learning through primary research, and actually prepare kids in elementary and junior high for college level study.  The school board would still have the final say on what would be allowed into the curriculum, and yes, it's probably a hell of a lot more work for individual teachers, but wouldn't it be worth it to not be be held in the grip of an oligopoly of backwoods publishers?

You could position this information hub in the school's library, (or replace it altogether) and have the librarians/information scientists coordinate the acquisition of the necessary materials.  Students could have encrypted access to the school's archives and gateway from home, or anywhere they could connect, provided they had proper encryption and passwords.

In actuality, I guess I've just described your typical college/grad school library setup, but with much more leveraged licensing and lending agreements, and more aggressive oversight to promote the school's curriculum, and protect students from obscenity/violent/hate speech (which they already have the authority to do.)  

Does that still sound like Arnold's plan?  If so, I'll give credit where it's due  :D
I don't think children under high school level should have to buy a laptop for school.
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Offline moor

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2010, 09:04:33 am »
When over half of them have cell phones, mp4 players, and multiple gaming systems at home, why not?

Tax dollars could subsidize for those families who need them , but seriously, when netbooks now cost less than Playstations, that cost argument starts to hold less weight.


Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2010, 09:10:44 am »
I have heard talk of using mobile devices such as smart phones and iPads in the class room.
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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2010, 12:45:40 pm »
ipads in the classrooms is gonna rock!


Listen to my entertaining radio show, "The Takeover: Top 20 Countdown" at www.top20takeover.VVCRadio.com.

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Offline KIP LEWIS

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Re: Texas "educators" succeed in whitewashing history
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2010, 10:21:30 am »
I think one of the challenges, beyond costs is a) I think current student to teacher ratios couldn't cope with that kind of learning. And B). Not everyone learns best through self-discovery.  Some students do learn best through rote memory.  Some learn best from listening to others speak about it. Etc.

Of course this is a problem with all styles of education; nothing  fits everyone.