THE OXYMORON OF "TEXAS EDUCATION"

I love nuts. Pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios – I love them all. But my favorite nuts by far are those homegrown natives on the Texas Board of Education. You just can't get any nuttier than this bunch!

I love nuts. Pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios – I love them all. But my favorite nuts by far are those homegrown natives on the Texas Board of Education. You just can’t get any nuttier than this bunch!

This little known board is making our state a punch line for comedians everywhere, because the majority of the panel’s members are ultra-right-wing nutballs. How nutty? They’re insisting that ideological indoctrination be paramount over education in the state’s classrooms. The board’s main power is to adopt curriculum standards for textbooks to be used from first grade through high school – and they’ve just put forth some whoppers in their unrelenting effort to plant their own ignorance in our history, government, economics, and sociology textbooks.

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For example, they shoved Delores Huerta, the much-admired farm worker leader, from the list of people who exemplify good citizenship, dismissing this historic champion of justice as a socialist. On the other hand, the majority mandated that such right-wingers as Phyllis Schlafly, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America be taught in history classes.

Speaking of justice, nutty board members were so offended by this core American concept of “fair treatment for all” that they stripped it from a list that instructs grade schoolers on the characteristics of good citizenship! No doubt they’d also strike “justice” from our Pledge of Allegiance if they could.

Among others getting their history-book status diminished were such giants as American democracy as Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. – while those getting a boost include Joe McCarthy and Jefferson Davis. Texas education wasn’t that great before this radical insistence on right-wing correctness, but these doctriaire morons are turning the phrase “Texas education” into an oxymoron.

“The List of Shame in Texas,” www.tfninsider.org, March 13, 2010.

“Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change,” www.nytimes.com, March 13, 2010.

“Vote some sense into state board,” Austin American Statesman, March 16, 2010.

“Texas Conservatives Seek Deeper Stamp on Texts,” The New York Times, March 11, 2010.

“When in the course of human events…” Austin American Statesman, March 15, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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