Thursday, April 1, 2010

On schools, town has a message: Don't mess with Texas

The Washington Post

In Madisonville, a town of 4,200 between Houston and Dallas, residents prefer local control. "We've got a good system here," one parent says.

(Page 1 of 6)
By Michael Birnbaum
Thursday, Apr 1, 2010

MADISONVILLE, TEX. -- As vendors sold yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flags nearby, Texas State Board of Education member Don McLeroy assured a gathering of Tea Party activists one recent evening that President Obama was going to keep his hands off the schools in the Lone Star State.

There would be no bid for Obama's Race to the Top grant program, no endorsement of new math and English standards that Obama backs. And the state school board, under McLeroy's prodding, would continue its push to adopt social studies standards that set Texas apart from other states because, among other changes, they recast sections on the American Revolution to put more emphasis on Christianity and less on the writings of Thomas Jefferson.

Officials in other states, including Virginia and Alaska, have expressed concern about elements of Obama's ambitious education policy. But here in this Bible Belt town of 4,200, where Washington is seen not as the solution to problems but their cause, Texans are pushing back. Hard.

"Our children will now study some of the unintended consequences of the Great Society, such as the destruction of the black family," said McLeroy, a compact, enthusiastic dentist who keeps a copy of the Constitution in his breast pocket. "Our students will be taught that this country was founded on biblical principles."

Historians have said many of McLeroy's assertions are dubious and have worried about politicization of such classroom staples as the Revolutionary War and the civil rights to complete article

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