I must admit I’m enjoying the great blog freak out of 2010. Left leaning blogs everywhere are up in arms over changes made to history curriculum by the Texas Board of Education. It doesn’t seem like the kind of world shattering changes that deserve such attention, most of the changes are actually quite sensible (and we’ll look at them shortly), but this isn’t really about textbooks. It’s about control, control which the left has exerted on public education in this country for decades. These changes will likely have a ripple effect on the curriculum in other states as publishers make changes to satisfy the new requirements for Texas. Below we’ll explore some of the reactions around the net and compare them to reality.
So, without further ado, I bring you the top blog over-reactions to the Texas textbook story.
She acts like American history classes weren’t whitewashed already. I’m sorry, but I just can’t get worked up about history classes in Texas not pretending well enough that American history is based on respect, tolerance and “Enlightenment values.” It’s not like they removed the parts where the history books included that Thomas Jefferson raped a child whom he owned as property, because that was never in there in the first place. It’s not like they removed the sections on Emma Goldman and Angela Davis, they just changed from glorifying capitalism to glorifying the free enterprise system.
24 Percent’s breakdown is less a reaction and more a pre-existing condition. He’s taken the position that American history is so awful and deplorable that even previous, left leaning textbooks were a complete whitewash. He leaves out all the coverage of the slaughter of Native Americans to America’s role as a consumer of slavery to the internment of the Japanese in World War II. Modern history textbooks spend many of their pages blaming America for their problems and the rest practically apologizing for its success. Success which 24 Percent attributes essentially to the evils of America, killing, stealing and destroying to get what it wants. It could not possibly be that America is an exceptional country which has thrived because of its ideals and which is no more responsible for slavery and other evils than any other nation.