Friday, May 21, 2010

The Text Book Wars

The, socially conservative heavy, Texas School Board has been duking it out over the last year to come up with new social studies and history standards for textbooks. Why does this matter? Because Texas is one of the biggest textbook markets in the country. Many other smaller states will have to buy the same textbooks. The battles range from excluding Thomas Jefferson's position on the separation of church and state to explanations for the Civil War that don't include slavery. Many liberals, minorities, historians and teachers are up in arms about the standards.

One of the more intriguing additions the Republicans want to make is a side-by-side comparison of the Lincoln and Davis (President of the Confederacy) inaugural addresses. Republicans want to emphasize the issue of state's rights which Davis argued was the reason for the War between the States. I find this bizarre because the fledgling Republican party headed by Lincoln, with it's anti-slavery platform, won the election of 1860 and incited the secession of South Carolina. Lincoln believed that states did not have the right to secede thus claiming the superior authority of the federal government. I don't think Lincoln would recognize the Republican Party of today.

The standards come up for a final vote today. Many opponents are urging the legislature not to buy the new textbooks, a move that might appeal due to the projected $18 billion budget deficit.

No comments:

Post a Comment