Category Archives: James Anthony Whitson

Documentation for IJSE article: “Howard Zinn and the Struggle for Real History in the United States”

The items on this page are posted as documentation for an article that will appear later this year in the International Journal of Social Education. The complete bibliographic citation for that article will be added here when it becomes available. Advertisements

State of the Nation: IN PERIL! (Bachmann speech / videos)

On his MSNBC Hardball program last week, Chris Matthews was calling Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) a “balloon head” — somebody who speaks freely without knowing anything, about U.S. history, in particular, and somebody who need to go back to school to learn something about history, so that she might finally know something about the things she likes […]

Ab-using measurement (education testing, & misreading a JAMA report)

True or false: New research shows that for older people, a faster gait leads to a longer life. Answer:  False — despite news coverage to the contrary (apparently). Since this is a blog about curriculum-related matters, I want to start by explaining why this post is even here. Then I will review the story about […]

Defending science, history, etc.: A promising precedent?

It seems to me that the case of David Rudovsky and Leonard Sosnov v. West Publishing Corporation (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania 2010), provides an intruiging suggestion for defending genuine science and social studies materials for school curriculum. A December 21 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the outcome of this case. In […]

SBOE’s Dunbar @ “liberty”. “edu”, on CBN, etc.

I don’t believe I’ve ever had such an extensive post here devoted as much as this one is to the antics of Cynthia Dunbar. Hence, it’s tempting to use something like “Dumb and Dunbar” as the title of this post. (Is it really possible that nobody has used that title before?) I can’t do that […]

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, […]

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 […]

Representative Democracy vs. the Senate filibuster

A cloture-proof filibuster is more than just a remote hypothetical possibility. The pie-chart here provides a picture of what it means for representative democracy when such a minority can hold hostage the government of the United States. The minority — in terms of representation of the people — is significantly less than the 40% that it is often thought to be.

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.”

“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 […]

CERU: 12th Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends

The Commercialism in Education Research Unit, a partner center of the Education Policy Research Unit at Arizona State University, has released Click: The Twelfth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends: 2008-2009. The word “Click” is part of the title this year (not just part of the link), since this year’s report is concerned with children […]

“neutrality” strikes again: banned band shirts in MO (evolution/religion dispute)

A story by Tonya Fennell for the Sedalia (MO) Democrat reports on the action taken by Assistant Superintendent Brad Pollitt in response to complaints from some parents about T-shirts designed for the school marching band’s program, “Brass Evolutions 2009.” Pollitt says he “made the decision to have the band members turn the shirts in after […]

The “What’s worthwhile?” question in Curriculum Studies

The key curriculum question in the United States – what knowledge is of most worth – is not a quiet question. It is a call to arms; it is a call to contemplation; it is a call to complicated conversation. It is our uniquely vocational call. For those who aspire to work within the vocation […]

the Comer decision: What “disputed issues”?

While awaiting news on whether the decision against Chris Comer’s suit against the TEA will be appealed, I have finally gotten around to reading the opinion by District Court Judge Lee Yeakel (not to be confused with the Simpson’s character). There’s a serious problem in the judge’s analysis (and the TEA’s argument), but to take […]

Leo’s Jan. 22 amendments to the Texas Science TEKS

The version of the Texas TEKS science standards approved by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) on January 23 included several amendments that it added January 22, amending the revised TEKS standards that were recommended by the writing teams of scientists and science educators. SBOE chairman McLeroy’s amendments, and his quote-mining to trick the […]

Dunbar, Scott on Arber: scientific consensus vs. scientific knowledge?

During the January 21 hearings of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), there was an exchange between Board Member Cynthia Dunbar and Eugenie Scott (of the National Center for Science Education) that is, I think, particularly significant. The exchange concerns the views of Nobel laureate Werner Arber. Dunbar had invoked Arber’s name (or some […]

Why I don’t believe in “THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION”

No, Virginia, “THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION” does not actually exist — at least not in science, anyway. In a nutshell, I don’t believe in “THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION,” for the same reason that I don’t believe in Santa Clause: Santa Clause does not really exist, except as a character in folk holiday traditions, crummy TV […]