Friday, February 12, 2010

Rewriting History (Textbooks)

The New York Times Magazine has published an interesting feature on how Texas is revising its social studies curriculum, and how that will likely affect most of the country's teaching of history.

A warning: you might be moved to curse out loud.

For the last few years, Texas has focused on one curriculum subject area for revision. Last year, the board tackled science, and therefore evolution vs. creationism. This year, it's American history.

In a nutshell, the conservative members of the Texas Board of Education are interested in making sure the founding of America is taught as "an overtly Christian undertaking." And before you say, well sure, the founders were Christians, the board members have an acknowledged legal and political agenda in this effort. I'll let you read the full story to get all the sordid details.

As Martin Marty, emeritus professor of the University of Chicago, says, "The more you can associate Christianity with the founding, the more you can sway the future Supreme Court."

Why does Texas' curriculum matter to us? Texas buys or distributes 48 million textbooks annually, so the mainstream educational publishers essentially "tailor their products to fit the standards dictated by the Lone Star State."

No comments:

Post a Comment