Austin public radio station KUT is airing and streaming online a new documentary about the right’s long-running culture war over public education in Texas. “The Long Game: Texas’ Ongoing Battle for the Direction of the Classroom,” by award-winning producer Trey Kay, looks at the ongoing political witch hunt over CSCOPE as well as the divisive battle over content in textbooks for Texas public schools.
KUT aired the documentary Sunday evening and will re-air it at 7 p.m. Tuesday. If you’re not in the KUT listening area, you can tune in online at kut.org. The full documentary is also online here and below.
The hour-long program begins with a focus on right-wing attacks on CSCOPE but moves on to discuss how Mel and Norma Gabler helped politicize the adoption of textbooks in Texas decades ago. The East Texas couple — now deceased — founded Educational Research Analysts, which is run today by their protégé Neal Frey in Longview. (Click here for more background information on Educational Research Analysts.) The documentary also examines the battle over what science textbooks should teach about evolution in public school classrooms.
The documentary, which includes comments from Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller, is a valuable primer on the education culture wars in the Lone Star State. Since its founding in 1995, TFN has helped lead the fight against efforts by far-right activists and members of the State Board of Education to censor public school textbooks. Over the past year we have also focused attention on the political extremists out to destroy CSCOPE, a curriculum management tool used by hundreds public and private schools around the state. Kay’s documentary helps listeners understand just what we’ve been up against for nearly two decades.
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