Monday, March 15, 2010

Texas Education in the 1800s

The whole world is talking about us. What must they think? Now whenever someone from Texas travels to another country, they will be asked, "What is wrong with you people?" Articles are in all the major U.S. newspapers and major European newspapers about how our Texas Board of Education decided that Phyllis Schlafly was important. She is the woman who is against Equal Rights for Women (among other things). We have become (again) the laughing stock of the world.


London Guardian - March 13, 2010 - by Richard Adams

Texas conservatives rewrite history

In Texas conservative Republicans are rewriting the textbooks to be used in the state's schools to fit their political agenda

When people worry about the US economy being surpassed by the likes of India and China, it's often slipping educational standards that are identified as a possible cause. With that in mind, consider the worrying events in Texas, where Republicans on the state's Board of Education enforced party-political changes to the state's curriculum. As the New York Times reports:

After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers' commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.

The vote was 10 to 5 along party lines, with all the Republicans on the board voting for it.

Why does it matter? As the Houston Chronicle notes: "The often contentious process has been watched closely across the nation, particularly this week as the board gathered to debate and vote on the proposed standards. Because of Texas' size, decisions by the board on what should and should not be included can influence publishers whose textbooks may be adopted by other states."

Many of the hundreds of line-by-line changes are tiny but carefully considered: this graphic shows how Richard Nixon's "role" in opening relations with China is to be changed to the more positive "leadership"...
link to complete article

1 comment:

Vicente Duque said...

Atlanta Journal-Constitution : Gay marriage, Immigration and the Census - Georgia can win two seats in the House, Texas four seats

It would be a horrible squandering of resources if people do not give accurate information, all the information asked should be completed.

States should do an effort for good information, specially those that gain a lot from the Census ( Seats in the House and Federal Money )

For their own benefit, the Poor and Minorities should help the Census Officials to achieve exactitude, accuracy and perfection in counting people, ages, etc ....

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Taking the national count

By Bill Steiden
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Associated Press, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, New York Times, Brookings Institution, Chicago Tribune, U.S. House of Representatives, Georgia Legislature, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post

Taking the national count :

Some excerpts

Gay marriage. In 2000, when there was no legal gay marriage in the United States, the census simply changed those who listed themselves as same-sex spouses to “unmarried partners.” Now that several states offer gay marriage, the census will count married same-sex partners for the first time. However, some gay and lesbian couples who would be married if they could be in their home states may list themselves as spouses even if they officially aren’t. That could throw off the count.

Illegal immigrants. By some estimates, Georgia in the decade just ended had the nation’s fastest-growing population of illegal immigrants. The census deliberately avoids asking people about their immigration status. The reasoning is that people who are in the country illegally will avoid participating in the census if they know they’ll be asked about their status. And for planning purposes, it’s vital to know how many people live in a particular place, no matter where they came from. Also, under current laws, the children born in this country of illegal immigrants are citizens, entitled to rights and government services even if their parents aren’t.

But that poses a problem for the census’ original purpose — apportioning political representation — because many people feel that a voting district full of people who are there in defiance of immigration laws shouldn’t have a numbers advantage over one that is mainly made up of native-born and naturalized citizens.

Distrust of government. Any big, expensive federal effort to gather details about people is naturally the target of some suspicion, and at a time when anti-Washington sentiment is running particularly high, people may deliberately refuse to participate in the census.

Even some government officials are balking. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has announced that because the Constitution only calls for an enumeration — not the more detailed information the census gathers — she and her family will simply list the number of people in their household and will leave the other questions blank.

The census’ counterargument is that gathering the additional information makes government more effective by allowing it to target aid and programs and plan facilities where they will do the most good. Also, it notes that the individual identifying information on census forms — such as names and the address where it was filled out — is off limits to the public for 72 years, meaning any such information gathered this year could not be accessed until 2082.

There is a law requiring people to fill out their census forms, and violating it carries a fine. But enforcement could cause a backlash that would make matters even worse.

Youth, Minorities, Politics :

Vicente Duque