Category Archives: Texas

I hoped it would get better – but it didn’t.

Texas schoolchildren will be required to learn that the words “separation of church and state” aren’t in the Constitution and evaluate whether the United Nations undermines U.S. sovereignty under new social studies curriculum.

In final votes late Friday, conservatives on the State Board of Education strengthened

Don McLeroy

requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers and required that the U.S. government be referred to as a “constitutional republic” rather than “democratic.”

The board approved the new standards with two 9-5 votes along party lines after months of ideological haggling and debate that drew attention beyond Texas.

The guidelines will be used to teach some 4.8 million students for the next 10 years. They also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on those approved in Texas, though Texas teachers have latitude in deciding how to teach the material.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said after the votes Friday that such decisions should be made at the local level and school officials “should keep politics out” of curriculum debates.

“Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum,” Duncan said in a statement.

But Republican board member David Bradley said the curriculum revision process has always been political but the ruling faction had changed since the last time social studies standards were adopted.

“We took our licks, we got outvoted,” he said referring to the debate 10 years earlier. “Now it’s 10-5 in the other direction … we’re an elected body, this is a political process. Outside that, go find yourself a benevolent dictator.”

GOP board member Geraldine Miller was absent during the votes.

The board attempted to make more than 200 amendments this week, reshaping draft standards that had been prepared over the last year and a half by expert groups of teachers and professors.

As new amendments were being presented just moments before the vote, Democrats bristled that the changes had not been vetted.

“I will not be part of the vote that’s going to support this kind of history,” said Mary Helen Berlanga, a Democrat.

At least one state lawmaker vowed legislative action to “rein in” the board.

“I am disturbed that a majority of the board decided their own political agendas were more important than the education of Texas children,” said Rep. Mike Villarreal, a San Antonio Democrat.

In one of the most significant curriculum changes, the board diluted the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, noting that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring students to compare and contrast the judicial language with the First Amendment’s wording.

Students also will be required to study the decline in the U.S. dollar’s value, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

The board rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D., and agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.

Former board chairman Don McLeroy, one of the board’s most outspoken conservatives, said the Texas history curriculum has been unfairly skewed to the left after years of Democrats controlling the board and he just wants to bring it back into balance.

Educators have blasted the curriculum proposals for politicizing education. Teachers also have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than learning to critically think.

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The Tao of Russell

Few things make me as upset as seeing someone who “deserves” to win lose through no fault or mistake of their own.  I am speaking in general terms of the results of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villians, a reality show on CBS.  Russell Hantz, an oil company owner from Dayton, TX is arguably the greatest manipulator the show has ever seen.  Like him or not- he plays the game within the rules and does what he needs to to accomplish his goals.  He is the most hated player the show has ever seen, BY THE OTHER PLAYERS, which has cost him winning either of the two seasons he as been on.  However it is also worth noting that he as won the “FAN FAVORITE” $100,000 award, which is voted on by the viewers, both times he has competed and reached the finale.  What this shows me is that the people Russell manipulated and used to his own ends-WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE RULES- can never win because the other contestants can not look past their own disdain and anger toward him to see that he truly deserves to win based the thousands

Russell’s play and 2 second place finishes have made me realize something that I really think is important.  In my mind he deserved to win, when looked at from a “game” perspective…however, he made people upset and made their lives miserable on his way to reaching the finale.  That part of the “game” is not accounted for by Russell and ends up what eventually costs him the million dollars, because the people he moves like pawns and manipulates are the very ones that decide to give him the million dollars or not and they can not and will not over look his brashness, rudeness, and hubris and acknowledge his superior game play and manipulation techniques.

THAT IS THE LESSON DEAR FRIENDS

The Tao of Russell states:  No matter your level of accomplishment, no matter your level of success,  no matter your level of pride – when looked at and judged by other people, they will remember how you treated them and those around them proving that emotion will always out weigh logic in personal decisions.

Trig, see what you have done?

EARMUFFS TRIG EARMUFFS!

I was reading an article about the Gov. of  Texas’ aides saying “retard” in public and Palin callin for his firing a stern warning (The Gov.  is a republican and she is headed to Texas to campaign for the Texas Gov.  hmmmm) Anyway, I clicked on the comments after I read the article and what did I find?

Read the rest of this entry

Texas Text Books Posts

I have recieved emails asking if I could post links to my Texas School Coverage in one place…ask and ye shall recieve!

1. Darwin was a liberal, communist, liar!

2. UPDATE: Texas Rewriting School Books

3. UPDATE 2: OMFG Texas, Really? REALLY?

UPDATE 2: OMFG Texas, Really? REALLY?

In my constant efforts to keep you abreast of this SHIT, RIGHT WING INSANITY, NONSENSE, ABSOLUTE Bull Shit  in TEXAS, I give you the latest installment (in case you miss it…the BS is highlighted in RED):

For months, the Texas State Board of Education has been hearing from “experts” about the direction of the state’s social studies curriculum and textbook standards. The advice to the 15-member board — which is composed of 10 Republicans — has included more references to Christianity, fewer mentions of civil rights leaders, George Wasington, and Abraham Lincoln. On Thursday and Friday last week, the State Board of Education took up these recommendations in a lengthy, heated debate. Some highlights of what the Republican-leaning board ended up deciding, and the debates that went on:

On a 7-6 vote, the board decided to add “causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the National Rifle Association” to the curriculum.
The Republican majority voted against requiring Texas textbooks and teachers to cover the Democratic late senator Edward Kennedy, the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and leading Hispanic civil rights groups such as LULAC and MALDEF. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Thurgood Marshall, the country’s first African-American Supreme Court justice, will be taught.
Republican Don McLeroy lost a battle to “remove hip-hop and insert country music in its place from a proposed set of examples of cultural movements.” Republican Patricia Hardy said that while she disliked hip hop music, pretending it wasn’t around was “crazy.” “These people are multimillionaires, and believe me, there are not enough black people to buy that,” she said. “There are white people buying this. It has had a profound effect.” Country music was added as a separate measure.
“McLeroy was successful with another of his noteworthy amendments: to include documents that supported Cold War-era Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his contention that the U.S. government was infiltrated with Communists in the 1950s.”
Republican board member Cynthia Dunbar unsuccessfully tried to strike the names of Scopes monkey trial attorney Clarence Darrow and Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey from the standards. Asked by another member about her opposition to Garvey, Dunbar explained, according to the Texas Tribune: “My concern is that he was born in Jamaica and was deported.”
– The board “included a requirement for students in U.S. history classes to differentiate between legal and illegal immigration.”

Unable to reach to reach complete agreement last week, the board unanimously decided to “suspend debate on the standards until March, when they will take up other social studies subjects such as government and geography.” A final decision won’t be reached until May. McLeroy, who has been the driving force of some of the most conservative amendments, said that he plans on proposing more controversial standards, such as an evaluation of the U.S. civil rights movement and the “increased participation of minorities in the political process and unrealistic expectations for equal outcomes,” in addition to the “adversarial approach taken by many civil rights groups.” This debate is important not only because it will dictate how the state’s 4.7 million schoolchildren are taught social studies, but also because Texas “is one of the nation’s biggest buyers of textbooks.” Publishers are often “reluctant to produce different versions of the same material,” and therefore create books in line with Texas’ standards. “Publishers will do whatever it takes to get on the Texas list,” one industry executive told the Washington Monthly.

By: Amanda Terkel, Think Progress

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