Who cares about Cesar Chavez and Henry Cisneros when our students could be learning about Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh?
The State Board of Education has appointed “review committees” made up largely of active and retired school teachers to draft new social studies curriculum standards as well as six “expert reviewers” to help shape the final document.
The standards, which the board will decide next spring, will influence new history, civics and geography textbooks.
The first draft for proposed standards in United States History Studies Since Reconstruction says students should be expected “to identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority.”
I actually wouldn’t mind ol’ Newtie being in the textbooks, as long the whole truth gets told. Of course, some of that truth would likely be considered too, um, sexually inappropriate for school children. Maybe what we need is a nice long public debate about it first. You can’t be too sure about these things.
Whether students will also be exposed to liberal examples from the ebb and flow of American politics is hard to predict. Conservatives form the largest bloc on the 15-member State Board of Education, whose partisan makeup is 10 Republicans and five Democrats.
David Bradley, R-Beaumont, one of the conservative leaders, figures the current draft will pass a preliminary vote along party lines “once the napalm and smoke clear the room.”
But not all conservative board members share that view.
“It is hard to believe that a majority of the writing team would approve of such wording,” said Terri Leo, R-Spring. “It’s not even a representative selection of the conservative movement, and it is inappropriate.”
Aside to Gail Lowe, the new chair of the SBOE: This is the sort of thing Paul Burka had in mind when he suggested you try to keep David Bradley under control. The alternative is for the “Daily Show” to assign a permanent correspondent to Austin to cover this stuff. Your choice.