Why Letting Extremists Develop Curriculum Standards for Schools Is a Bad Idea

For reasons unknown, the conservative website Texas Insider insists on publishing the rants of a race-obsessed, right-wing activist. The newest rant from Bill Ames, who has criticized what he sees as an “overrepresentation of minorities” in social studies curriculum standards, once again claims that “leftists” hate America. And it’s predictably filled with ridiculous mistruths.

In his attempts to demonize Michelle Obama, for example, Ames charges that the First Lady once “once proclaimed that she had been ‘Ashamed of America her entire adult life.'” That’s not true, of course, but truth hardly matters in a hate-filled rant.

Former Texas State Board of Education chairman Don McLeroy appointed Ames to a team helping rewrite social studies curriculum standards for public schools in 2009. That adventure appears to have confirmed for Ames that “leftists” are out to destroy America by corrupting the education of our youth. So his newest Texas Insider screed lists “Communism’s goals to destroy the United States” alongside what he says the curriculum teams did (or tried to do) during the social studies revision. Some examples:

Communist goal #22:  Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression.

Review panel:  My review panel added nihilistic hip hop music to the culture strand. It does not take a rocket scientist to conclude that hip hop music, and its closely related genre gangsta rap, promotes degradation of women, violence, profanity, racism, promiscuity, rape, street gangs, drive-by shootings, vandalism, drug dealing, and alcohol and substance abuse, and as such was an objectionable addition to the history curriculum.

Yes, Ames sees hip-hop as a communist threat to American civilization. You might recall that McLeroy and his colleagues on the board subsequently dropped any mention of hip-hop in a social studies standard on musical genres in America over time. Seriously. (The republic is saved!)

Communist goal #30:  Discredit the American Founding Fathers.

Review panels:  My history review panel refused to include the Celebrate Freedom Week principles into the history standards. Celebrate Freedom Week lessons include the Founding Fathers’ Christian principles, and captures their intent in creating the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.  The review panel did not want to include discussion of America’s founding in the standards.

Ames neglects to mention that the standards his team rewrote focused on U.S. history from 1877 to the present. Study of the nation’s founding documents was already included in a previous course focused on U.S. history from colonial times to 1877.

Communist goal #26:  Present homosexuality as a normal, natural, and healthy lifestyle.

Review Panels:  In a letter to the State Board of Education dated May 8, 2010, six members of the history review panel wrote, ““….our negotiations reflected an enthusiasm for content and diversity.……Several of us had hoped to introduce the civil rights efforts of ….(long list of different groups)…. and the GLBT (Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) community….”

Oh, those commie pinkos! Of course, the curriculum team did not include a discussion of LGBT rights in the standards they proposed to the state board. But for people like Ames, America must always have someone to demonize. (Illegal aliens are another group Ames loathes, to the point that he claims they are disease-ridden threats to Americans.)

Communist goal #29:  Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old fashioned, and out of step with modern needs.

Review panels:  With respect to the discussions of religion and government, the history review panel ignored the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, focusing instead on the pop culture, ACLU-promoted “separation of church and state” mantra.

Again, Ames neglects to mention that the writing of the First Amendment took place nearly a century before the time period begins for his team’s course on U.S. history after 1877. Moreover, none of the curriculum teams proposed standards that disparage the Constitution. But McLeroy and his board colleagues did vote down a proposal to include in the government course for high school a standard calling on students to study how the Founders protected religious freedom by barring government from promoting one religion over all others. The board instead adopted a standard that suggests separation of church and state is not a key principle of the First Amendment and the Constitution overall.

You can read Ames’ full screed for yourself here. We have more about Ames in other posts.

5 thoughts on “Why Letting Extremists Develop Curriculum Standards for Schools Is a Bad Idea

  1. Knowing how very fond of Dawrinism the SBOE is I suspect they may not lead the national charge in getting the newly discoved “God particle” included in the state science curriculum. Be that as it may this is a significantly negative event for the religious right. They depend on adherents believing the Bible is word-for-word true, and a logical alternative to Biblical account of the creation of the universe runs counter to their cause. The effects won’t be seen in the short term but a decade or two down the road the social conservative potential recruiting pool will be adversely impacted.

  2. From France,

    I am so glad that, in France, Church and Stade have separated since 1903 just after the Captain Dreyfus rehabilitation What i read on the links mentionned by TFN is just appalling and reminds me of the hatred speeches against Jews by the Extreme Right in these backward times . Just replace Jews by Communists and that’s it.

  3. This is without doubt one of the worst ideas that the SBOE has ever had and that’s saying a lot in my book. Allowing a known white supremacist to help write curriculum for children will only result in disaster.

    Don McLeroy is an overtly hostile to science person, he’s making his “bones” on the backs of children resulting in a dumbing down of their native intelligence and stifling the process of learning for our future.