Category Archives: Politics of Education

Ravitch: “Just Say No to the Race to the Top”

On a blog at Education Week, Diane Ravitch advises that states should “Just Say No to the Race to the Top.” Ravitch notes: It might better be called the Race to Nowhere, or as some have dubbed it, the Race to the Trough or the Dash to the Cash. She notes the demoralization of teachers […]

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TX SBOE reminds SMU Dean of Apartheid regime’s historical revisionism

On The Ed Show Friday, May 21 on MSNBC, Dr. David Chard Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University in Fort Worth (see comment below) Dallas, Texas, offered this observation: It reminds me a little bit of what happened in South Africa when there was domination […]

Revised TX Social Studies standards

Historians from Texas and around the U.S. have signed a letter calling for the Texas State Board of Education to delay its final vote on revised Social Studies standards and to allow time for review and input from scholars, as reported by the Associated Press and by the Austin American-Statesman. The historians have set up […]

“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

Texas Standards and the “Quality Counts” report

Being ignorant is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is nothing to be particularly proud of either. A large and disruptive segment of the Texas State Board of Education is not only ignorant — a state that we all share at various times and on various subjects — it is proudly and aggressively ignorant, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mass., Va., etc. “students’ religious freedom” bills

There’s “An Act Relative to Protecting the Religious Freedom of Students” pending in the Massachusetts legislature which, according to Antoinette Pizzi reporting in the Cape Cod Times, “has bipartisan support and is expected to pass favorably through the Joint Committee on Education.” Folks at the National Center for Science Education have taken particular notice of […]

US Educ Sec Arne Duncan on Colbert (Oct 5, 2009)

This weekend I saw Chris Hedges on BookTV’s “AfterWords,” and I thought “this is somebody that I need to see on the Colbert Report.” I decided to do some posting to encourage that encounter (that will be my next post after this one — see the post above this one, or the link with arrow, […]

Louisiana procedures for disputes over anti-science materials in biology classes

WILL SENTELL of the [Baton Rouge] Advocate Capitol News Bureau reports that “Procedure [have now been] crafted for handling evolution-materials complaints“: