The Texas State Board of Education is easily the most influential group in the nation when it comes to the subjects studied in public schools. Their recommendations directly affect the make-up of the textbooks sold to school systems all over the country. Naturally, therefore, Christianists and assorted wingnuts fiercely lobby the TSBOE, including from within, to ensure that American kids are taught that ours is a purely (and exclusively) Christian nation. Here’s what board member Don McLeroy brought to last month’s meeting.
McLeroy moved that Margaret Sanger, the birth-control pioneer, be included because she “and her followers promoted eugenics,” that language be inserted about Ronald Reagan’s “leadership in restoring national confidence” following Jimmy Carter’s presidency and that students be instructed to “describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.” The injection of partisan politics into education went so far that at one point another Republican board member burst out in seemingly embarrassed exasperation, “Guys, you’re rewriting history now!” Nevertheless, most of McLeroy’s proposed amendments passed by a show of hands. Finally, the board considered an amendment to require students to evaluate the contributions of significant Americans. The names proposed included Thurgood Marshall, Billy Graham, Newt Gingrich, William F. Buckley Jr., Hillary Rodham Clinton and Edward Kennedy. All passed muster except Kennedy, who was voted down.
Got that? The lives of Newt Gingrich and Billy Graham will be studied by high schoolers all over the nation. But not Ted Kennedy, one of the longest serving and arguably the most influential and successful legislator in American history. He was a dirty librul, that’s why!
Seven members of the TSBOE are “quite open about their intent to advance the Christian agenda” in the nation’s textbooks. Read the extensive article in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine which tracks the campaign to rewrite history and train the students of the United States about the “Christian truth” of our nation’s founding. Prepare to be depressed.