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Is the Texas Board of Education Conservative — or Honest?

Posted By Suzanne Venker On March 16, 2010 @ 6:00 am In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

Have you heard of Phyllis Schlafly? Do you believe liberals are responsible for civil rights? Do you understand the consequences of Title IX? Are you aware that Germans and Italians were interned during World War II along with the Japanese? These are just some of the issues that have been debated for years in states where textbook standards are often determined. California and Texas lead the way due to their size, and this past Friday the Texas State Board of Education finally approved new standards for a social studies curriculum.

After three days of debate, the board gave preliminary approval for a new social studies curriculum that seeks to provide balance to a skewed view of American history. For years students (of all ages) have been taught a jaded view of history in the name of social engineering — which is just a fancy term for some people’s attempt to see things not as they are but as the way they would like them to be. Indeed, today’s textbooks are loaded with politically correct jargon, resulting in students being taught faux history and anti-American sentiment.

The reality is that our public institutions have become indoctrination centers – and, thankfully, several members of the Texas Board of Education are trying to do something about it. Unfortunately, their attempt to produce some semblance of balance has given them the label “conservative.” But this a red herring. It isn’t conservatism they’re after; it’s truth.

Liberal bias is not something everyone in America accepts as real — because not everyone understands what it is. Many people think liberal bias suggests that a bunch of left-wingers get together and plot how they’re going to undermine conservative thought, but it doesn’t work like this. Liberal bias, aka political correctness, is the belief that there is one right, one good, one moral way to view something — and that any thought that challenges the status quo is thus conservative.

But there’s nothing inherently conservative about covering the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, or pointing out the way in which separation of church and state have been exaggerated, or discussing the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and how Phyllis Schlafly was hugely instrumental in this process. It’s as if liberals fear that the mere mention of a traditional America will cause students to gravitate in that direction.

Yet students cannot get an accurate picture of America if there are major gaps in their learning — and this is what we’re dealing with in many public schools across the nation. Many kids would be surprised to learn, for example, that Republicans were instrumental in civil rights legislation. Many kids don’t have an accurate handle on what capitalism is — and how it leads to a strong nation. And the reason they don’t is because there are things you’re supposed to say in America, and things you’re not. That’s called political correctness — and that’s what the Texas Board of Education is trying to correct.

The idea that these folks are trying to force conservatism upon students is absurd; today’s kids are so steeped in progressive thought this isn’t even possible. I applaud the Texas Board of Education for putting this issue on the map. Let’s hope other states follow suit.


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