Blogging from the Social Studies Hearing II

by TFN

11:49 – Another gem from Rev. Marshall’s testimony earlier:

“All men are created equal… this has been the basis of every great social crisis through American history. It was the basis for the American Revolution, the abolition of slavery, the women’s movement, the civil right movement, and is the basis for the modern-day pro-life movement.”

So Marshall is an advocate for equal rights for women, eh? We’re not so sure most American women would be comfortable with Marshall’s idea of equality. Check out this excerpt from one of Marshall’s “Commentaries” from earlier this year on his Web site:

“At some point in life’s journey, both boys and girls must break free from the mother/woman as the source of vitality and power, and yield to Jesus as the source of power and life. Many women have found themselves crying out for someone to deliver them from the natural compulsion to control the lives of others, which is what years of being the life-giving source of vitality for children and husband can easily turn into. And boys cannot become men capable of exercising Godly power in the world as protectors and providers, men who have mastered themselves and thus can execute justice in society and right its wrongs, unless they have separated from their mothers and given themselves to One who is greater than their earthly fathers.”

11:56 – Prof. Jim Kracht of Texas A&M is speaking now. No surprise that the board will let David Barton speak last (among the so-called “experts”).

11:58 – Prof. Kracht suggests that the social studies curriculum standards currently used in Texas public schools don’t need a complete overhaul. Based on their comments about the standards thus far, Prof. Kracht’s suggestion would probably be disputed by David Barton and Peter Marshall.

12:01 – TalkingPointsMemo is following the today’s State Board of Education meeting and has some good insights. Check it out.

12:03 – Prof. Kracht warns about overloading the standards with too many people, dates and events. “Please keep in mind what is necessary.” He also argues, however, that the board should consider balance on various points of view: “It is not a place to put in A point of view, A frame of reference.”

12:07 – SBOE member Terri Leo, one of the board’s far-right members, latches on to Prof. Kracht’s warning about the importance of focusing on what is necessary in the standards. The problem will be her interpretation of what IS necessary and what’s not. Any guesses?

12:26 – Now David Barton is up. He has a slide show! PowerPoint, anyway.

12:28 – Barton has embarked on a long list of “American heroes” who were African-American, Hispanic and Jewish. All of have been left out of the standards, he notes, but students should know about them. It’s as if he is determined to distract critics who have noted his attacks on “multiculturalism” and including people in the standards because of their ethnicity instead of their contributions in American history.

12:37 – Now he goes through a long list of dates and events that should be included to help students understand the Constitution and its origins. But here’s a problem: amateur historians know a lot of dates and events, but they don’t have much expertise in interpreting those events and their significance. Instead of expertise, they substitute their own ideological biases.

12:41 – We’ve said it before: Barton can dazzle with a smooth speaking style and an ability to rattle off a series of facts that makes him appear to be an “expert.” The problem is his historical interpretations are so distorted by his ideological bias.

12:45 – SBOE member Mary Helen Berlanga asks why David Barton wanted to remove Cesar Chavez from the standards. Barton replies that he thought there was a better place for Chavez in the standards. Actually, however, this is what Barton had said about the inclusion of Chavez in a standard on citizenship:

“(Chavez’s) open affiliation with Saul Alinsky’s movements certainly makes dubious that he is a praiseworthy to be heralded to students as someone ‘who modeled active participation in the democratic process.’”

1:01 – SBOE board member Terri Leo is asking Barton to explain his thoughts on the proper placement of people in the standards. But she’s ignoring Barton’s criticism of Chavez as having an “open affiliation with Saul Alinksy’s movements.” Barton will ignore it, too.

1:04 – Yeah, we were right. Barton is portraying his position on Chavez as simply an issue of where in the standards he should be.

1:05 – SBOE member Rick Agosto asks about Barton’s criticism of which holidays are being listed in the standards. Barton now says he thinks dropping from Christmas from a standard in the Grade 6 world cultures course wasn’t an attempt to undermine or hide the importance of Christmas in America. But in his review of the first draft of the standards, Barton suggested that the curriculum writers were deliberately undermining the significance of Christmas in the heritage of America:

“To mention five religions and then mention five holidays ignores the Free-Market nature of America, even among religions. America is not evenly divided among these five religions. . . . The culture of America is not accurately reflected by pretending that all five religions have equal adherents.”

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Gregorio Casar

It’s like I’ve been saying. @GregAbbott_TX and @RepDennisBonnen care more about attacking our local democracies than actually improving living conditions for Texans. You don’t even have to take my word for it, Bonnen’s clearly happy to say the quiet part out loud. twitter.com/WellsDun…