Category Archives: history

“We Report, You Decide” (with video)

Check out this video under the Headline History Being Rewritten? Texas textbooks: Hearings being held to change history textbooks on foxnews.com: “Reporting” from Austin, Fox’s Peter Doocy says it’s “kinda scary” if people are going to be teaching about things in history “in a way that’s favorable to their views.” “Who’s behind this?”  host (“news […]

I’s on Edjukashun – Texas School Board – Eric Foner

My favorite line: Colbert: They say that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But, if you change what history was, doesn’t that solve that problem? more about “Colbert Puts His ‘I’s On Edjukashun’ …“, posted with vodpod

wingnuts cry “bias” on AP report (with links to audio and video)

At a right-wing blog titled “Wolf Howling,” there’s a post titled “AP Goes APE Over Texas School Book Changes,” attacking April Castro for her coverage of the Texas State Board of Education’s demolition of the state’s social studies standards. “Wolfhowling” writes: The author, Ms. Castro, does not want to admit that what we are seeing […]

ABC Nightline on McLeroy & Texas textbook controversy (video)

more about “McLeroy & Texas textbook controversy“, posted with vodpod http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/texas-textbook-controversy-10080731

2½-Hour TV tribute to Howard Zinn

This program is being re-aired: Saturday, February 27th at 1pm (ET) Saturday, February 27th at 11:30pm (ET) The C-SPAN page, with information, transcript, and video, is at http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/id/219641 .

Ohio Council for the Social Studies on Ohio curriculum revision

Here’s a position statement by OCSS on the revision of Social Studies standards in Ohio: 

Texas Exceptionalism (Texas opts out of common education standards)

Governor Rick Perry announced today that Texas will not submit an application for education funding in the federal government’s “Race to the top” competition. His office issued a press release under the title:  Gov. Perry: Texas Knows Best How to Educate Our Students. Here’s a video clip from his announcement: more about “Office of the […]

Tiger Woods and Social Studies

Here’s what I, as a Social Studies educator, find completely unacceptable from Tiger Woods: Woods weighs in on Augusta membership GolfWeb Wire Services — July 16, 2002 GULLANE, Scotland — Tiger Woods was vague, his answers repetitive. For the first time at a major championship, he seemed unprepared and uncomfortable when handling a topic that […]

SBOE: The Missing Episodes

From what we hear in these proceedings, there could be an SBOE majority, along with the Commissioner, who are open to this kind of politicization of committee membership, not only for TEKS development, but for textbook approval as well. They have the power to do this even thought it’s not really required by the statute (as Ames falsely claims that it is). Still, in case the claim about the statute will not be put to rest by the Board’s TEA lawyer, the sane attorneys Craig and Berlanga must be prepared to request an opinion from the Attorney General, which would decisively shut down this claim by the appointees of Bradley and McLeroy.

Voting on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, by Party

This (and the previous) post are written with concern for “ensuring that our youth get an accurate historical view of the United States,” rather than the false view that Virginia Foxx and others have been trying to project, with their deceptive use of such practices as concealing the historical context while alluding to the aggregated voting percentages. Factually accurate statistics can always be used, without their necessary context, for telling lies. As they say, “Figures never lie, but liars figure.”

Experts, standards, textbooks

It looks to me like they have not actually changed the definition of who is an expert. What they’ve done, rather, is to change it so people don’t need any expertise to be on the textbook review panel. I can see how there could be some rationale for including non-experts in the standards development process, since that can be regarded as a policy-making process, in which it could make some sense to include some political interest representation, along with the expertise. The same rationale would not apply, however, to the review of textbooks. At that point, the policy decisions have been made already. Policy determination is something prior to and separate from textbook review. Textbook review might require different kinds of expertise (expertise in grade-specific pedagogy, for example, as well as expertise in the subject or discipline), but it is not a process calling for further policy-making representation of political, commercial, or industrial interests. Employers might have expertise for judging textbooks and materials for occupational/vocational courses, but not for courses in science, math, history, etc.

“honest history” for Texas social studies standards?

In her testimony Wednesday night, November 18, before the Texas State Board of education, Carole Haynes (phonetic) helpfully informed the Board members that There has been so much controversy over the Civil Rights [legislation], … and the truth was, Republicans voted for it and the Democrats voted against it. … We need to set that […]

TX SBOE not interested in hearing from experts, teachers

Meeting as the Committee of the Full Board Thursday night, November 19, the Texas State Board of Education made it clear that they are not interested in hearing any further from their “experts” or the writing teams of social studies specialists in their revision of social studies standards for the state of Texas. (Click here […]

civic education study 2009

Two people landed on this blog today by doing searches on “civic education study 2009”. I think I’ve had browser windows open for the last few days on what they probably were looking for, but I hadn’t had the time to save those items, much less post anything about them. Anyway, the most substantial source […]

new Lowe standards for Texas Social Studies

An AP article on Gail Lowe, successor to Donald McLeroy as chair of the Texas SBOE, can be found now on the websites of the Houston Chronicle and the Lufkin Daily News. The story quotes Chairman Lowe expressing her agreement with the preachers who have been appointed by the Board as “Experts” to advise them […]

NY Times: “Flexbooks” displacing textbooks

Lewin reports that “Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.”

This is interesting in many ways. For one thing, it underscores the necessity of having teachers who understand their subjects well. “Flexbooks” could greatly increase the importance of the teachers relative to state boards and legislatures.

TX “experts” and revision of the state Social Studies standards

Unlike school “Science,” the school subject(s) of “Social Studies” has no such well established recognized identity. If the Texas State Board of Education succeeds unchallenged in accepting people like David Barton to serve as “experts” on Social Studies, this reinforces the establishment of Social Studies as a school subject in which political, ideological, and religious agendas can be played out on the basis of sheer political power, unchecked by anything like the authority of experts in the disciplines.