Archive for the ‘Tom Owens’ Category

Political Extremism and Curriculum Standards

June 20, 2009

In March the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) ambushed teachers and others who have been working to revise social studies curriculum standards for the state’s public schools. TPPF charged that the curriculum writing teams — made up of teachers, academics and others — were drafting standards that left out important historical figures such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, holidays like Independence Day and various patriotic symbols like the Liberty Bell.

That was nonsense. As we noted later, Don McLeroy (who was State Board of Education chairman at the time) had leaked early work from the writing teams to TPPF — work that was nowhere near complete. It seems clear that TPPF’s purpose (and McLeroy’s) was to discredit the work of the writing team members. Most of those team members are hardworking educators and academics who know history and understand quite well how to craft curriculum standards for students.

But not all of them. We have already reported about the ideologues the McLeroy faction on the state board has appointed to a panel of so-called “experts” who will help guide the revision of the social studies standards. It turns out that faction members have also embedded fringe right-wingers on the very curriculum writing teams that they were criticizing last March. Here are three:

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