brni (brni) wrote,
brni
brni

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, in a far off land called The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics The People's Republic of China Texas, political appointees dictated educational curricula for school children on the basis of ideology.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13texas.html

Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone.

Um. A 13th century monk who thought that people who didn't believe properly should be put to death, a 16th century reactionary who rejected the most fundamental aspect of freedom - free will, and an English judge that Clarance Thomas likes are more relevant to revolutionary activity than the author of the Declaration of Independence?

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.10826/title.texas-board-of-education-declare-hip-hop-is-not-a-cultural-movement

Conservatives also approved to have a sociological focus on institutional racism and its presence in American society banned from the books, as well as removing important references of Latino and Hispanic figures throughout history.

Of course, we wouldn't want to actually understand how things work in a way to systematically fuck over certain people - we might actually learn how to stop doing it, that that would be awful. And un-Christian.

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/21/texas-history-gingrich/

Earlier this year, a panel of right-wing “experts” produced a report urging the committee to remove biographies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen F. Austin, and César Chávez, and instead add history about the “motivational role the Bible and the Christian faith played in the settling of the original colonies.”

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I don't believe that politics can be fully expunged from curricula, but it seems to me that that should be incidental, rather than fundamental, to the process. Like the Justice Department, politics needs to be checked at the door, and the curriculum determined by the people who actually know the subjects, not a Christian dentist who thinks the earth is 10,000 years old.
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