What reasons do conservatives give for wanting to make changes regarding the civil rights movement in Texas textbooks?What reasons do conservatives give for wanting to make changes regarding the...

What reasons do conservatives give for wanting to make changes regarding the civil rights movement in Texas textbooks?

What reasons do conservatives give for wanting to make changes regarding the civil rights movement in Texas textbooks?

Asked on by dpetty04

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I disagree strongly with post #6.  The poster argues that states' rights are the issue, based on peoples' freedom of religion and tolerance, but apparently not within the state of Texas?  Are all people there socially and politically conservative (ask San Antonio, Austin and the southern third of the state that question)?  And yet the poster argues that freedom and tolerance of different views is important.

The poster states that kids are exposed to way too much "liberal" behavior, behavior which she obviously disagrees with, but being exposed to too much "conservative" behavior is just fine.  So this is no longer a states' rights issue, it is a personal political and social bias.  It probably should be stated as such.

Whether she agrees with it or not, the Ten Commandments are not the basis of, nor are they reflected in US law or government.  Thou Shalt Not Kill, Thou Shalt Not Steal.  That's it.  Those that do not believe in Christianity or hold the same social views of the poster should not be forced to study them, if she truly believes in religious freedom and tolerance.

Lastly, the President does wear a flag pin.  All the time.  Google his photo, or the phrase Obama flag pin and you'll see what an utter myth that is.  And even though we disagree about nearly everything, I still love my country!  Amazing.  I'm still a patriot.  Go figure.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Textbooks are written with the objectives of every state.  Every publisher does this.  Of course, if teachers and parents feel so strongly about it in other states, they can simply choose another publisher rather than the ones so heavily influenced by Texas.  We don't have national textbooks yet, although it seems that more and more we have leaders who would like us to all be cookie-cutter copies of one another and are pushing us all toward some one-world global society.

lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Let's face it.  Our history books aren't always correct.  This may be an issue of not wanting our children's backs to be broken from the sheer weight of an unabridged history book, but I remember when I was in high school and being shocked later in college to find out that our government interred Japanese-Americans during WWII.  It wasn't in the book.  I don't think this should end up being a huge attack against conservatives.  The country could use a little more conservatism.

However, this is a classic case of states' rights--the main reason for the Civil War.  It is their right to run their state and their schools the way they deem is best for their students.  If you don't like it, don't go to Texas.  This country was founded on freedom of religion and tolerance for others, but our founding fathers didn't mean that all religion and the foundation of the 10 Commandments and The Golden Rule should be separated from all government.  In fact, if more politicians acted with these rules for "good" behavior in mind, we would be in less moral trouble as a society than we are.  Our children are exposed to too much "liberal" behavior at too early an age.  We should be patriotic (even though our President won't wear a flag pin). We should be proud to be American and support American businesses instead of buying foreign.  We should be honest, hard-working, supportive of those who need our help in times of trouble, and work to do the right thing every day.   

I agree with you that textbook selection is within the control of state and local government.  However, there are economic factors that are likely to result in school districts all over the country purchasing textbooks that have been "designed" by Texas.  Whether one is liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, the sheer power of the numbers of Texan textbooks sold dictates results that do not necessarily represent the desires of school districts elsewhere.  This is a troubling outcome.  People who don't like it cannot avoid the problem by staying out of Texas. 

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Let's face it.  Our history books aren't always correct.  This may be an issue of not wanting our children's backs to be broken from the sheer weight of an unabridged history book, but I remember when I was in high school and being shocked later in college to find out that our government interred Japanese-Americans during WWII.  It wasn't in the book.  I don't think this should end up being a huge attack against conservatives.  The country could use a little more conservatism.

However, this is a classic case of states' rights--the main reason for the Civil War.  It is their right to run their state and their schools the way they deem is best for their students.  If you don't like it, don't go to Texas.  This country was founded on freedom of religion and tolerance for others, but our founding fathers didn't mean that all religion and the foundation of the 10 Commandments and The Golden Rule should be separated from all government.  In fact, if more politicians acted with these rules for "good" behavior in mind, we would be in less moral trouble as a society than we are.  Our children are exposed to too much "liberal" behavior at too early an age.  We should be patriotic (even though our President won't wear a flag pin). We should be proud to be American and support American businesses instead of buying foreign.  We should be honest, hard-working, supportive of those who need our help in times of trouble, and work to do the right thing every day.   

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You would do very well to research into the re-writing of text books and how other states and countries have, at various stages, chosen to re-write their history. This normally reflects a change in power or ideology. For example, the Russian Revolution caused a massive re-assessment of the Tsarist regime and a completely biased focus on the Revolution and its leaders. Clearly you can't compare Texas to Russia, but this extreme case does highlight that the re-writing of textbooks has more to do with power and ideology than any desire to present the "truth".

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

From what I have read it appears they want us to believe that they are striving for a balance in the curriculum. I am certain that is not the real reason. One article states that they have removed teachings about Thomas Jefferson, who believed in separation of church and state, and have provided more teachings on John Calvin. Feel free to form your own opinions!

lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Some Conservatives believe that the previous discussion of the Civil Rights Movement in textbooks gave "unrealistic expectations of outcomes" to minority groups (NewsBox).  I speculate that another change, calling "slave trade" by a new title, the "Atlantic triangular trade," is meant to minimize the horror of the slave trade in the eyes of students, in my opinion, almost trivializing one of the most terrible enterprises in which this country has ever participated (NewsBox).  An additional change is an emphasis on the violent as well as the non-violent aspects of the Civil Rights Movement, with apparently equal time for the Black Panthers and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Newsbox).

This is a very politicized issue, as are the other changes being made to Texas textbooks, and if you do a bit of research, you will find, as I did, that very few news sources are completely unbiased.  You might want to think about where you stand on the changes being made and why it matters to you or to other students across the country.

theotagogirl's profile pic

theotagogirl | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

I live in Texas.  I find it shocking and appalling that conservatives can rewrite history to suit their belief system, just as I would if the liberals did such a thing.  I have two children and already feel as though I will have to pay for private science tutors based on the creationist nonsense that is creeping into private education.  Next will be history I guess.  As for #6 ill-considered response, you expect the 30% of non-conservatives who have the misfortune to live in this hell hole to just up and leave?  What then for Texas?  Just the hicks and their bibles remain.  Number 6 should feel free to check out the other non-secular countries of the world, you will find yourself in fantastic company (http://www.gallup.com/poll/114211/alabamians-iranians-common.aspx)

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

I don't think it is a question of why they want to do it or a list of reasons because I think they basically said that they wanted to correct the history books. Whenever one political party is in power, they try to maximize their beliefs and downplay others; this is precisely what they are doing in Texas with the history books. maximizing the beliefs of conservatism while downplaying any benefits of liberalism or liberal beliefs.

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