The Growing Chorus

On Monday the editorial board at the San Antonio Express-News became the latest group to take a swing at the embattled SBOE, citing the Fordham Institute study that gave our new social studies standards a “D.” The Express-News doesn’t say anything much different than what the Austin American-Statesman and the Dallas Morning News said when editorial boards for those major dailies published opinion pieces on the matter last week.

And that’s the point. We now have three of the states biggest major daily newspapers calling for the board to initiate a rewrite of flawed social studies standards — or, failing that, for the Legislature to intervene.

And legislators are taking note of the growing chorus coming from all sides of the political spectrum. It seems the only ones not taking note are some SBOE members past and present who continue to stand by the standards, including (possible future former) Chairwoman Gail Lowe.

Here’s a sampling from the Express-News editorial:

Two of the board’s most ideologically extreme members are now gone — one decided not to seek another term and the other was defeated in last year’s GOP primary. The state’s budget woes will in all likelihood delay the purchase of new textbooks that reflect the SBOE’s disastrous work last year.

The board’s new composition and the textbook delay give reformers an opportunity to revisit the social studies TEKS and add a measure of objectivity and scholarship. For the sake of Texas students, they should seize that opportunity.

Who will be next? Here’s hoping that editorial board members at the Houston Chronicle, El Paso Times and other state dailies — all of whom I’m sure have a child, or know someone who does, at a Texas public school — are reading this and feel compelled to join the party.