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A fine whine from the SBOE

Apparently, some of the wingnut members of our State Board of Education got their widdle feelings hurt by some of the coverage of their most recent hijinks, in particular about their amendment to remove Thomas Jefferson from the world history standards. It was all just so unfair that SBOE Chair Gail Lowe took the time to air her grievances against the media, in a press release and again at Texas Insider. You will no doubt be shocked to learn that her complaints are largely based on misdirections and half-truths. Go read The Trib’s Brian Thevenot for the fact-checking.

I will admit, there is one thing the SBOE may have to whine about, though as with the rest they brought it on themselves:

It is time to consider abolishing the State Board of Education because its distractions over cultural wars are hurting public education, Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, said Tuesday.

He said he plans to file legislation to get rid of the 15-member elected board when the Legislature returns to its regular session in January.

[…]

Hinojosa took exception to the board’s vote to limit or outright exclude mention of central figures in U.S., Texas and world history, including important figures in the 1960s civil rights movement.

The social conservatives on the board “seem to be more focused on cultural wars and on their own personal biases than they are on the education of our kids,” he said. “In one breath, this faction will speak of a need to return to a more fundamental understanding of freedoms based in, say, the Declaration of Independence. Then, they work to revise Thomas Jefferson’s views on separation of church and state.”

A press release from Sen. Hinojosa about this is here. I don’t really expect this to go anywhere, but the SBOE should expect to be a (well-deserved) punching bag for the next eight months. Since “repeal” seems to be the mot du jour for the GOP, here’s Bill White giving it right back to them:

Bill White today called on Governor Perry to urge his appointed Chair of the State Board of Education to send amendments back to the original curriculum review teams. The State Board of Education (SBOE) recently voted on more than 100 amendments to social studies curriculum standards that will guide textbooks and classroom materials for years to come.

The overly political process and outcomes disrespected professional educators and historians.

The original standards were developed by curriculum review teams comprised of classroom teachers and subject matter experts.

“Individual school board members are no doubt sincere in their beliefs, and some of the changes can be debated by reasonable people. But, under the leadership of another extreme Rick Perry appointee, the amendment process injected politics into our school books and classrooms,” said Bill White. “That is a step in the wrong direction, requiring leadership from our Governor.”

“Rick Perry must ask his appointed chair to send the curriculum standards back to review teams before final adoption in May,” White continued.

I don’t expect that to happen, either, but I’ll be happy to have Rick Perry defending the SBOE’s wingnuttery everywhere he goes.

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