Texas and Iran?

Uh oh. The respected journal Foreign Policy has a new article listing the places where you will find the worst textbooks. Headlined “The World’s Worst Textbooks,” the article notes:

“As students around the world head back to school, many of the lessons they’re learning are not only false — they’re dangerous.”

According to the journal, here are the places with the worst textbooks: Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and … Texas.

Well, the magazine actually lists the United States but then devotes its U.S. summary to the Texas State Board of Education and its outrageous campaign this year to politicize social studies curriculum standards for public school classrooms. Excerpts from the U.S. section, which is headlined “Culture Wars 101”:

“The Texas Board of Education ignited an international firestorm last spring when members approved a controversial new social studies curriculum. The new standards skew hard to the right — championing American capitalism throughout and suggesting religious intentions on the part of the founding fathers.”

“The new curriculum hasn’t hit textbooks yet, but pop quizzes are expected to have a slightly different look — Newsweek recently published new study exercises that the Texas school board is likely to adopt:

‘Explain how Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict.’ And ‘Evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.'”

Oh, this is just swell. The State Board of Education has made Texas not just a national laughingstock when it comes to schooling. Now we see that the quality of what Texas kids are required to learn in their classrooms is ranked alongside what students learn in repressive societies like Iran and China. Gosh, aren’t we proud?

6 thoughts on “Texas and Iran?

  1. Well gooooolie. I jest wanna thank them there folks on the SSBOERS fer linking us up with them thar ferign countries.

    It is up to those of us who LIVED through a lot of the history to request time in schools to tell the truth. My son once asked me if I knew anyone who had seen something of historical importance. After saying, “Well, duh, how about me?” he said, “No, someone who really saw history in the making.”

    So I taught him about the launching of SSN-571, the first nuclear submarine in the world and then watching her as she said, “underway on nuclear power.” Along with billions of others, I watched the first manned landing on the moon, I’ve talked with Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the nuclear fleet… I got that far and he asked when I could come to class .

    As an aside, I also told them about my one claim to “fame;” I was the first columnist to write a daily column in the Videotex service of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, called StarText. I wrote that column for over two years seven days a week, using a Radio Shack Model 100. As far as we’ve been able to find out, I was the first to do anything like that. It was in the early years of Videotex and bulletin boards (BBS), etc. That, of course, was pre-Internet. As hard as it may be to realize, I’ve been futzing around with computers for over a quarter of a century.

    In any case, isn’t that anything that can be done to toss out the damage that the SBOE has wrought and replace their unhandiwork with what the real experts came up with at first?

  2. Well, I thought it might come down to this. The news in the past 48 hours has been excellent. As many here at TFN have noted in the past, the best way to fight the far right fringe is to give them enough extremist rope to hang themselves with it. Put another way, they will just go out and implement their lunacy, and the American people will be so horrified that a backlash will ensue. Witness:

    1) Your TFN article about Texas getting international acclaim and being ranked with the international bad guys in education thanks to the Texas SBOE. “According to the journal, here are the places with the worst textbooks: Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and … Texas.”

    Let’s all come together and give a personal “Thank You” to Ken Mercer and his far right associates on the Texas SBOE for reducing Texas education to the level of that in the former Soviet Union and making it the laughingstock of the world. It’s official now.

    2) Then there was Reverend Terry Jones who wanted to burn another religion’s holy book. Whether you think that book is actually holy or not is irrelevant. The only relevant thing is that we do not burn books in a democratic republic like the United States. That peculiarity is reserved for insane tin horn dictators like Sadaam Hussein, tyrant Imams in Iran, and Nazis. As Heinrich Heine said, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” Burning books has become the litmus test for right wing extremists. Reverend Terry Jones showed every sensible citizen of the United States and the whole world the TRUE COLORS of people like himself, Reverend Fred Phelps, and all of their closeted and uncloseted associates on the Religious Right. With the craziness laid out there on the line in all of its glory, the world was horrified last week, and then the backlash ensued and grew into a roar that was heard around the world. The word is out. THESE PEOPLE REALLY ARE FRUITCAKES!!!!

    3) Then came the word today that the Republican Party in Delaware has officially turned on the Tea Party and is actively working against it. In the end, and we are near the end here at election time, it turned out that the Tea Party members were just too feisty and independent to be taken over and used by the Republican Party for its own ends. The Republican Party played their flute, and the Tea Party members refused to dance. In Republican eyes now, the Tea Party is increasingly viewed as a dangerous group of right wing extremists that needs to be destroyed in order to save the United States and their party. Read that as: “They are threatening the pet candidates for office that were hand-picked by our long-time party officials like Mitch McConnell.” Once again, the backlash against the extremists ensues, and they have begun devouring each other.

    Keep up the lunacy boys. Try to implement all that you can. Why not right now. Go for it!!!

  3. Charles, a few issues. You wrote: “….a democratic republic like the United States.” I’m not sure that statement is exactly accurate. This is not a democracy; it is a plutocracy: government BY the rich FOR the rich. Just look how watered-down every “reform” has been. And the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case decision has established corporatism in cement.

    As for your statement: “….Ken Mercer and his far right associates on the Texas SBOE for reducing Texas education to the level of that in the former Soviet Union and making it the laughingstock of the world.” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Most conservatives and most Texas voters are PROUD to be thought a “laughingstock.” To them, that is a BADGE OF HONOR. It means that they have kept the faith, that they are not bending to the teaching of socialism, secularism, atheism, science, etc. The derogatory statement “laughingstock” is a slam for us, but to them it’s a COMPLEMENT. I don’t understand why this is so difficult to understand. Believe me, if you lived in Texas, you wouldn’t need this explained to you. I think because you don’t live here is why you haven’t been able to understand it.

    As for the widening gulf between the Far Right (GOP) and the Far Far Right (Tea Party), I don’t make much of it. Whether conservative voters are of the tea party persuasion or the republican persuasion, they are still conservative. Given the choice in November between the conservative candidate or the progressive candidate, they are going to vote for that candidate who is the most conservative. They are not going to vote D. Of that, I could bet my life savings.

    And it really doesn’t matter which conservative wins, it’s going to be equally bad for us. Especially those of us who are the middle class. The destruction of the middle class will be accelerated once the conservative gets in. And the end of the middle class is exactly what they want.

    Toward conservatism is the way the pendulum is swinging in this country (and has been since Feb 2009, I might add). Radical conservatism, I might also add. There’s no doubting it, and all the wishful thinking in the world doesn’t change that fact.

  4. This is true Cytocop, but you forget the prophecy that was given to me after the bundle of sticks. The election in November is a tee and the whole far right conservative package is a golf ball being set on the tee by the God of Abraham. The ball will be positioned on the tee by midnight on election day. Then comes the driver club with the uranium head on it—wielded by the One. I hear He has strong arms. The whole ball will shatter, and the pieces will fly to the other end of the known universe.

    I know. You think I am delusional. But hey, even if we get bumped around by the aftershocks, wouldn’t it be great to just lay back and watch what happens. Another Great Depression? After listening to the nonpartisan economists on CNN yesterday, I fully expect it. These guys will then bare the stamp of “Herbert Hoover” on their foreheads, and these extremists will not see office again for another 60 years—if even then. The day is coming, and it will burn like an oven until they are totally consumed.

  5. Charles, what you’ve written is what I’ve been thinking, but couldn’t put into words. Thank you for doing so.

  6. No, Charles, your analogy is actually quite on target. Well, it may come to that. Economists ARE saying this could be a double-dip recession. The unemployment rate remaining stubbornly high is keeping recovery slow and anemic at best. Some even say worse is on the way.

    Yes, I see where you’re going with this. Let’s go ahead and LET the Repugniks get in in November and bring about their Brave New Conservative World. (Or might that be their Brave New World Order?) I’m not enough of an economist to know their policies will directly lead to the first Great Depression of the 21st century. But certainly nothing will get better, certainly not for the majority of us! Only the Super Rich will benefit. And not only will nothing get better for the majority of us, it’s highly likely they’ll get a whole lot worse!