Last month, the Texas Education Authority fundamentally changed how humanities subjects would be taught in schools. Now other states are taking action to prevent this from happening in their schools. The only problem is the preventive measures are happening mostly in California, a state that is mostly bankrupt and is not planning on purchasing ANY textbooks in the near future. This seems to be a bigger issue than trying to avoid what the Texas Education Authority is doing but that’s a post for a different day…
So what is Texas changing in books?
From HuffPost: Thomas Jefferson was removed from a discussion on the Founding Fathers, the term “capitalism” was stricken from economics lessons, the separation between church and state was glossed over, Joe McCarthy and Ronald Reagan replaced John F. Kennedy and the history of changing gender roles was tossed over concerns that it would lead students into “transsexualism.” In response, Stephen Colbert had textbook author and Columbia professor Eric Foner on his show Tuesday night to talk textbooks and “to answer for his liberal crimes.” As the Columbia Daily Spectator says of the history professor’s performance on the show, “When backed into a corner by Colbert, Foner took the highly controversial position that rewriting history to agree with your personal political views is bad.” [Colbert video is below]
What is California doing?
A largely symbolic bill has been introduced that calls for all schools to not be able to essentially rewrite textbooks in the humanities. “There needs to be a counter to this,” said California State Sen. Leland Yee’s (D-San Francisco) chief of staff Adam J. Keigwin, referring to the Texas revisions. Yee introduced SB 1471, which requires the state’s board of eduction to examine all future textbooks so that none of Texas’ new regulations would enter California schools. The bill is currently making its way through the state legislature.