The Bookshelf, Young Texas Reader, Blog Notes, & Texana Youtube Channel

The Texas Bookshelf is for single, specific books' reviews and author interviews . The Texas Parlor ranges more broadly than my other websites. The Young Texas Reader focuses on the youngest through teenagers. Texas Blog Notes surveys blogs of historical and literary interest. I've started a Will's Texana Youtube collecting channel where 1,000 videos are collected in 100 playlists . Find Will in Houston or at willstexana {at} yahoodotcom

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Texas, Social Studies, and the Wall Street Journal

Texas' neighbors are watching  and have noticed the initial script lines of "Texas All in the Family" being tried out on the Texas Education Commission's  front porch by actors of yet obscured faces.  Exactly who is acting the roles of Archie Bunker and Meat Head are yet to be defined.
Of all news sources the Wall Street Journal considers the current Texas leaders' special approach to defining appropriateness or inclusiveness for our children's learning.  Texas revisits various parts of the curriculum about once every 10 years.  This year, social studies is one of those being visited for revision.  Stephanie Simon wrote a July 14 article entitled "The Culture Wars' New Frontier:  U.S. History Classes in Texas."
The article begins:  "The fight over school curriculum in Texas, recently focused on biology, has entered a new arena, with a brewing debate over how much faith belongs in American history classrooms.
The Texas Board of Education, which recently approved new science standards that made room for creationist critiques of evolution, is revising the state's social studies curriculum. In early recommendations from outside experts appointed by the board, a divide has opened over how central religious theology should be to the teaching of history."
By July 16 morning there were 242 comments, read more at
If it weren't for the fact that millions of school children will be affected for the rest of their lives by the eventual decisions, the tragi-comic episodes to come could be viewed as simply entertainment of the "Family Guy" groundling level, not even constructive enough to be "King of the Hill."
At the outset, the oddest thing I find is that somebody wants to exclude from the American history textbook Anne Hutchinson, the famous 1600's woman religious dissenter/teacher who was exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for refusing to accept the gummit line on the REQUIRED religious formula and not to be confused (I suppose, but maybe not) with the current Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison who'll run in a primary against Governor Rick Perry who controls the commission's appointments. 
Anyway, this current Texas ban of Anne Hutchinson brings to memory the recent attempt by some Texans to censor the book "Fahreheit 451," a novel against book censoring.  Connected to that memory is Louis Sachar's book "Holes," a Newbery-winning novel set in modern Texas where nonconformist children are condemned to endlessly dig holes for greedy adults looking for buried treasure.


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