The GOP-controlled (Texas) State Board of Education is working on a new set of statewide textbook standards for, among other subjects, U.S. History Studies Since Reconstruction. And it turns out what the board decides may end up having implications far beyond the Lone Star State.
The first draft of the standards, released at the end of July, is a doozy. It lays out a kind of Human Events version of U.S. history.
Steve Benen summarizes:
Board members — 10 Republicans to 5 Democrats — have recommended downplaying the contributions of civil rights leaders, minimizing an “emphasis on multiculturalism,” and trying to “exonerate” Joe McCarthy.
And let’s also not forget that these indoctrination efforts may have broader implications. As we talked about in July, what happens in Texas doesn’t necessarily stay in Texas. Textbook publishers are reluctant to create different materials for different states, and when one big customer makes specific demands, the frequent result is changes to textbooks nationwide.
My guess is that all the winger states (which I’ll loosely define as states that voted for McCain in 2008) will go at least partway down this path at some point.
I went through a phase of being deeply bothered by the fact that the United States doesn’t function as a post-Enlightenment first world country. But I’ve gotten used to it.