Texas bill to politicize curricula

A new bill in the Texas legislature would politicize curricula by reversing legislative action which had previously vested authority over selection of supplementary materials to the Texas Education Agency, removing that authority from the Texas State Board of Education [SBOE].

The SBOE in recent years has done tremendous damage to curricula in Texas by adopting standards — especially in Science and in Social Studies — that sacrifice student education in the academic subjects on the altar of religious and right-wing fundamentalism.

The original calendar would have had publishers now vying to win approval for textbooks developed to satisfy requirements of the latest science standards. Because of the state’s financial situation, however, they don’t have money to buy new textbooks, so instead they will be adopting supplemental materials (including electronic) to meet requirements that have been added since the previous round of standards-setting.

The proposed legislation requires that

An electronic textbook or instructional material placed on the list adopted under Subsection (a) … must be reviewed and recommended to the State Board of Education by a panel of recognized experts in the subject area of the electronic textbook or instructional material and experts in education technology …

That may sound reasonable enough. But we must not forget

  1. the SBOE’s utter contempt for expertise, and
  2. their ideas of who counts as an “expert,” in any case.

Thanks to Dr. Steven Schafersman, Texas Citizens for Science, for alerting us to this proposed legislation.


One Comment

  1. Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Thanks for publicizing this, Tony.


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