Over the last few days, my relatives have been posting on Facebook about how terrified they are of things going on in politics. They have this irrational fear that their world will be completely turned upside down in an instant. Sadly, it’s more common for changes to be incremental and gradual over time even if they’re desperately needed. So when they share those posts it’s usually not rooted in reality but instead in their personal fears.
Personally, what’s going on at a federal level doesn’t worry me often. I’m generally optimistic that, even if we backslide, we’re always headed in the right direction. And, if we aren’t, that there’s something we can do about it (…no matter how slowly).
No, the thing that bothers me the most in the last few weeks is going on in Texas. As of this writing, Texas has been doing their 10 year review of the curriculum. It’s a simple process, almost simple enough to have been explained by School House Rock, which I’m sure would have had some detractors today…
But, because it’s so simple that people don’t realize how big an impact it’s going to cause. And, as it happens under our noses, they’re doing some not so kosher things.
You see, for this review they gather a group of advisors and a board and start to go over what they teach in the schools one piece at a time. Quite infamously, they decided earlier in the year that it’s appropriate to “teach the controversy”. In other words: creationism, a matter of theology, is now viable for being taught in science class. Understand that for a moment, regardless of what your religious beliefs might be, they’re teaching something that cannot be tested by the scientific method as a subject of science. This would be like teaching Spanish in an English class or vice versa.
But they did it anyway and they powered on. At the time, I was hoping that was going to be the last thing that made me cringe. Whoops, gotta stop jinxing myself.
The next thing I heard, they began to edit history to produce a “pro-American” viewpoint. This meant to remove anyone that wasn’t exactly happy with the state of the union…say, Civil Rights leaders for instance. They left in the ones they couldn’t get away with. But last I heard, Cesar Chavez was on the chopping block along with dozens of others who somehow represented an “anti-American” viewpoint. One I’ve heard of, one that’s been hotly debated, was… Thomas Jefferson.
I hope it’s just rumor. But if it isn’t, the motivations I’ve heard just depress me. Thomas Jefferson, one of the most influential figures of American history, removed on account of his views of organized religion. One of the things I’ve heard even states that he wasn’t “removed” so much as “minimized”. Essentially, they censored Jefferson. If that’s true, I’m disgusted. Imagine that, the pro-American history books lack the full, unbiased records of Thomas Jefferson.
This isn’t a minor event. This review board is determining the curriculum of Texas for the next decade. And, given the state of our economy and the way text books are produced, that means they’re determining the curriculum indirectly for most of the country. If you have kids, know kids, like kids or just want to be sure that we don’t erase history: this should worry you too. It’s one of those issues that impacts everyone when given enough time.
Sometimes, ideology needs to be put aside for common sense…
As hard as that may sometimes be.