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5/23/10

Washington Post Lies About Texas School Curriculum

The Washington Post misrepresents the changes made by the "seven-member conservative bloc" state school board. Each point they complain about is completely misrepresented.

WaPo reports that the changes "minimize the separation of church and state and say that America is not a democracy but a "constitutional republic.""

This is just not true. Several parts read "the content enables students to... appreciate the basic democratic values of our state and nation as referenced in the Texas Education Code." Students must "identify historical origins of democratic forms of government." I don't find anything that states America is not a democracy. In fact the text makes it clear that students will be urged to participate in the constitutional republic with their "individual rights." They will "analyze efforts to expand the democratic process." (see also here, here.)

There is nothing that touches on the separation of church and state. The curriculum does include "how religion and virtue contributed to the growth of representative government" and the "religious motivation for immigration." Separation of Church and State will clearly be taught, however, as lessons will "analyze the impact of the First Ammendment guarantees of religious freedom." Perhaps WaPost objects to students learning about "human rights abuses of unlimited governments such as the oppression of Christians in Sudan."

WaPo reports that liberals are frothing over the new curriculum, that Democrat Mary Berlanga threw the books down to the floor as she screamed, "I have let down the students in our state!" WaPo claims "teachers, academics and politicians on both sides of the aisle have condemned the standards." What are they so upset about?

WaPo- "The new standards say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was later vindicated -- something most historians deny"

The text never states McCarthy was vindicated. It does state "McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the arms race, and the space race increased Cold War tensions and ... the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government." Althouse points out there is nothing here that anyone really denies. Those papers did in fact confirm communist infiltration. It's a fact.

WaPo- "...draw an equivalency between Jefferson Davis's and Abraham Lincoln's inaugural addresses"

Don't find anything comparing Davis's and Lincoln's inaugural addresses. I do find this: "...analyze the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis' inaugural address and Abraham Lincoln's ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address." Althouse shows that there is no effort to equate anything.

WaPo- "...say that international institutions such as the United Nations imperil American sovereignty"

Nothing talks about imperialing American sovereignty. The text states: "explain the significance of the League of Nations and the United Nations... analyze the human and physical factors that influence the power to control territory, create conflict/war, and impact international political relations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), or the control of resources." Complete lie from Washington Post.

WaPo- "...and include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn."

The text states: "explain the roles played by significant individuals and heroes during the Civil War, including Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and congressional Medal of Honor recipients William Carney and Philip Bazaar." Two confederates! Boy what a long list! We must not learn anything about the roles of any evil confederates!

Washington Post complains that the school board "removed references to capitalism and replaced them with the term "free-enterprise system."" I guess that's a big deal to someone out there... however, the text requires students to "understand that the terms free enterprise, free market, and capitalism are synonymous terms to describe the U.S. economic system."

The former education secretary under President George W. Bush joined the mindless chorus of liberals who complained about the changes from the "conservative bloc."

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