Liberal Media Exposed

Monday, February 20, 2017

Texas Schoolbooks

One of the most fiercely contested battlegrounds in modern American society is the public education system, where a liberal agenda is relentlessly promoted to the nation’s young people. Whether it’s pushing the homosexual agenda or teaching controversial scientific theories as if they were facts conservatives face a constant struggle to keep politics out of the classroom, and in this fight Texas has long been recognized as key terrain. Because of the way the state’s education system works it makes huge purchases of school textbooks every few years, and to win those orders publishers tend to tailor books to what Texas educators want. That’s good news for the nation because Texas is traditionally conservative, but in recent years more and more secular and leftist pressure groups have been trying to influence the content that will be taught in American schools.
The struggle to prevent interference in textbook selection hit the headlines four years ago when a coalition of secularist groups fought to prevent books mentioning the key role of Christianity in developing the US Constitution, and it erupted again this year over the purchase of new social studies texts. There were several issues at stake, including the extent to which the Founding Fathers were influenced by their Judeo-Christian traditions, controversy over the effects of affirmative action and an excessive focus on slavery as a cause of the Civil War. There were also several scientific controversies, with the two biggest being promotion of extreme climate change propaganda and the perennial topic of the theory of evolution.
Under pressure from the various groups to disregard the state’s latest (2010) education standards in favor of a progressive agenda, the State Board of Education has spent several months trying to preserve the standards as much as possible while defusing the issue. Agreement was finally reached last week on removing several graphics that had been labeled “offensive”; in the end several hundred changes were made by publishers. Unfortunately the Board was split along party lines, with all five Democrat members refusing to seek consensus and insisting on the full list of requested changes. At the end of the day the revised textbooks were approved 10-5, but the fuss is a good illustration of the way politics is being forced on young people – often with the active connivance of the federal government.
Democrats know as well as anyone else that books adopted by Texas are likely to be chosen by most other states in the future, so their wish list gives valuable clues to what the left plan on spreading through the public school system. Common themes, apart from doubtful scientific theories, seem to be a determined effort to play down the role of Christianity in the development of American society (tied to a promotion of Islam as an alternative religion) and an attack on the principle of states’ rights. Texas has managed to win a qualified victory over this agenda for the moment, but with the new books scheduled to start appearing in classrooms next year parents and local school boards will need to be vigilant for any attempts to sneak in the politically correct versions.