It's troubling that far-right members of the Texas State Board of Education insist on dumbing down education in science, social studies and other public school classes. But it's hardly surprising. The knee-jerk anti-education reflex that characterizes the far right these days surely exasperates even mainstream conservatives. Eagle Forum's website today offers another example of that anti-education reflex: a facts-free diatribe by Phyllis Schlafly against efforts to promote college education for young Americans. Schlafly sneeringly insists such efforts are misguided. She argues, essentially, that many American high school graduates are too dumb and unprepared and will fail to learn much during their "five-year party" in college: "Many of these kids wind up in low-skill, low-pay jobs such as cashiers, waiters, theater ushers, and postal workers, which can easily be performed by high school graduates." In truth, however, a wealth of data shows that educational attainment levels are tied to employment and wages. Read More

One of the many controversial changes the Texas State Board of Education made to proposed social studies curriculum standards this year was requiring that students learn about Phyllis Schlafly's role in a "conservative resurgence" in the 1980s and 1990s. Schlafly, the head of the far-right group Eagle Forum, rose to political prominence by attacking the women's rights movement and opposing the Equal Rights Amendment. But will Texas students learn the truth about Schlafly's extremism and hatefulness or, instead, a whitewashed version of her work and positions? We wondered about that today when we read what Schlafly had to say about unmarried women at a Republican fundraiser in Michigan last weekend: "Do you know what the second-biggest demographic group that voted for Obama -- obviously the blacks were the biggest demographic group. But do you all know what was the second-biggest? Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you've got to have big brother government to be your provider." Progress Michigan recorded Schlafly's remarks: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDeBsEg2Pzw]…… Read More