The message this week: Don’t mess with Texas’ education.
The 15-member Texas Board of Education has been one of the harshest critics of “education reform” via the Common Core State Standards since their inception. Texas was one a very small minority of states that never approved the standards that have become a political poison apple in classrooms across the nation.
And, earlier this year, the board reacted swiftly after the College Board announced it was revising its Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum to more closely align with a Howard Zinn-inspired view. The board ordered teachers to instruct their students in accordance with the state’s TEKS curriculum it approved, even when teaching Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses.
So, last week, few should have been shocked when the Texas BoE approved the use of new history textbooks – books that do not hide the biblical influences involved in our nation’s founding – for use in classrooms throughout the state. But that wasn’t the headline Saturday morning:
“Texas approves disputed history texts for schools” – Associated Press
What seems to be missing – or buried in the most “balanced” of reports – is that it’s the Texas BoE’s job to approve textbooks for use in the state’s more than 1,000 school districts. It’s a job the elected members of the board take very seriously, regardless of their political ideology.
A total of 89 curricula in a wide array of subjects were approved during the four-day meeting last week.
The liberal-socialist-progressive-statist media reports also seem to ignore – or deeply bury – the fact that Texas schools can still choose for themselves what curricula they will use. The BoE merely provides an approved list from which schools can choose.
So, why the media storm over just one of the textbooks?
Texas is one of the nation’s largest educational resource markets in the U.S. So, one theory suggests that what the Texas BoE approves can have a major impact on what other states approve, or what schools in other states will adopt for their own classrooms.
How much of an influence Texas can be is up for debate, but the National Education Association – the nation’s largest teachers union – seems to buy into it. As one might assume, it’s far more difficult to indoctrinate American children with the Zinn narrative when it isn’t being crammed down their throats.
It is important to understand the goal is to indoctrinate – not educate – here.