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Texans clash over religion, race in history textbooks

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Texas textbook wars are underway: the State Board of Education spent hours yesterday clashing over its public school social studies standards, including how to teach students about religious freedom and separation of church and state.

Republicans rejected a Democrat-backed motion that the Bill of Rights curriculum include teaching students to “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from protecting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” Other partisan disputes– also ultimately decided by the 15-member board’s conservative majority — included how to teach about race relations and the contributions of minorities, the impact of taxes and regulations on America’s economy, and the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

As the Dallas Morning News explains, in addition to the 4.7 million public school students in Texas impacted by the board’s decisions, these changes also influence the curriculum in thousands of schools in other states, because

Texas is one of the biggest textbook purchasers in the nation, which makes its standards a top priority for publishers.

Check out the (conservative) Liberty Institute and the (liberal) Texas Freedom Network for live blogging from the hearings.

After getting through all the proposed amendments, the board will make its final vote in May. The changes would go into effect starting in the 2011-2012 school year.

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Gwyddion9

posted March 12, 2010 at 11:40 am


Of course the Republicans rejected the curriculum in teaching students to “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from protecting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.”
How else can you control the uneducated? Knowledge is power and if keeping people in the dark works, even better.
Besides, in not teaching an understanding of why one religion shouldn’t be protected over another, it allows for people to claim, “this is a Christian nation” without really knowing the truth in the matter.
Personally, I don’t think the GOP is concerned about ‘truth’ only power and control.



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non-metaphysical stephen

posted March 12, 2010 at 10:32 pm


“Personally, I don’t think the GOP is concerned about ‘truth’ only power and control.”
I agree — which is why I left the GOP years ago. They do not represent the Christianity I find in the scriptures.



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KT

posted March 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm


“I agree — which is why I left the GOP years ago. They do not represent the Christianity I find in the scriptures.”
A good, respectable, Christian!!! Holy cow, where are you guys hiding? I’m an atheist, but the Christians who believe in turning the other cheek, the Christians who believe in spreading love and guiding people towards a good life (the kind that don’t want to harm and/or oppress people who don’t believe what they believe) are certainly okay by me. Discussing religion for the purpose of LEARNING about other people’s views is important for all of us, without exception…most (maybe not most, but I see a lot of zealots, I live in Alabama) don’t care to even attempt to come to a greater understanding.



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jestrfyl

posted April 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm


This is further proof that allowing Texas to rule the world of textbooks is insane and irresponsible. The day of the massive and quickly out-dated textbook should end. If students had access to electronic resources there would be no need for this sort of discussion. As they said of the “$6 million man”, “We have the technology!” We need only to make use of it.



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