Right-Wing Activists Rewrite U.S. Textbooks


| 1/15/2010 5:18:52 PM


Classroom ReadingIn the minds of some of the “experts” who hold sway over the Texas public school textbooks, Joe McCarthy was an American hero, white men are responsible for civil rights, and “evolution is hooey.” Over the past 15 years, Washington Monthly reports that an activist bloc has methodically taken over the Texas State Board of Education, bent on injecting hard-right ideology into the state’s textbooks. According to these activists, the Founding Fathers never wanted a separation between church and state, and they’re doing their best to break down the wall by changing the schoolbooks in Texas.

The politicized textbooks would be a problem just inside Texas, but economic factors have given the state a huge influence over textbooks throughout the country. Unlike many other states, Texas makes the decisions on a state level on what books local school districts can buy. So when the state makes a decision on what books to purchase for its 4.7 million high schoolers, publishers take notice. The only bigger market for textbooks in the country is California, a state whose budget is in such disarray, it announced that it won’t be buying new books until 2014. In the meantime, an anonymous industry executive told Washington Monthly, “publishers will do whatever it takes to get on the Texas list,” even if that means caving in to right-wing activists.

In what’s already been a fearsome battle, the Texas State Board of Education is in the midst of its once-each-decade meeting to decide which books are purchased throughout the state. The Washington Monthly meticulously documented how conservative activists took over the meetings, forcing out moderates, accusing them of being pawns of the “radical homosexual lobby” and similar claims. With meetings taking place until March, the conservative activists are in prime position to push textbooks in Texas and throughout the country to the right. Don McLeroy, a particularly vocal activist on the state’s school board and a staunch advocate of teaching creationism in schools, told Washington Monthly, “Sometimes it boggles my mind the kind of power we have.”

You can watch a video of the school board's discussions below:

Source: Washington Monthly 



Image by woodleywonderworks, licensed under Creative Commons. 

Doug Lass_4
5/25/2010 10:35:48 AM

I'm wondering if the Texas Board of Education believes that the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during World War II was a good thing! And if the treatment of blacks in the 50s and 60's was good thing.


Kev C_1
3/17/2010 12:32:43 PM

At the risk of getting blasted on this site -- I must ask you to consider the point of view that something greater than ourselves created us and every living thing on this earth has been around far longer than Darwin. Revisionist history is one thing, but to exclude "intelligent design" or "creationisim" is rediculous -- evolution is a theory. On the basis of the above statement made by someone who obviously doesn't know anything about science the theory of relativity and the theory of gravity are also subject to question. Only question I want to know the answer too on this particular issue is 'Does that mean religious zealots float and the rest of us sink?' Have a real nice day ye all!


Kev C_1
3/17/2010 12:32:17 PM

At the risk of getting blasted on this site -- I must ask you to consider the point of view that something greater than ourselves created us and every living thing on this earth has been around far longer than Darwin. Revisionist history is one thing, but to exclude "intelligent design" or "creationisim" is rediculous -- evolution is a theory. On the basis of the above statement made by someone who obviously doesn't know anything about science the theory of relativity and the theory of gravity are also subject to question. Only question I want to know the answer too on this particular issue is 'Does that mean religious zealots float and the rest of us sink?' Have a real nice day ye all!




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