Do You Know What Is In Your Child’s History Textbook?

Social Studies Cat asks: Why did the Texas Board of Education take out Thomas Jefferson from their history books? Was it because Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote about the separation of church and state as indicated in the First Amendment of the Constitution? Photo Credit: CC Reads Sirota by kwbridge on flickr cc

Conservative Texas Board of Education Censors History Books

It seems the Texas Board of Education folks don’t like Thomas Jefferson. Otherwise, why would they have removed him from their textbooks?

Is this a problem for more than Texas students? Yes, because Texas is the second largest consumer of school textbooks after California. Texas makes up 10% of all school textbook purchasers. Some school textbook publishers have altered their textbooks due to pressure from Texas School Board curriculum folks.

Problem in TextBook City

DN! Texas Conservatives Approve Changes to School Curriculum

The problem is that most parents are unaware of how sanitized and ultra-conservative their child’s textbooks have become over the years. Little by little the textbooks have had important elements of history replaced with conservative ideological perspectives.

For example:

Texas State Board of Education — Social Studies Hearing

Now, the latest thing the Texas Board of Education did was to banish U.S. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson from the history textbooks because they did not like his view of the First Amendment that established the separation of church and state.

Texas Board Adopts New Social Studies Curriculum

The Texas Freedom Network indicates on their website the goings on of the Texas Board of Education. Here is some information they provided:

Live Blogging regarding minutes of meeting of the Texas Board of Education Debate on Social Studies Issues. The following excerpt from a blog report was posted on May 11, 2010 regarding a recent meeting of the Texas Board of Education:

12:28 – Board member Mavis Knight offers the following amendment: “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” Knight points out that students should understand that the Founders believed religious freedom was so important that they insisted on separation of church and state.

12:32 – Board member Cynthia Dunbar argues that the Founders didn’t intend for separation of church and state in America. And she’s off on a long lecture about why the Founders intended to promote religion. She calls this amendment “not historically accurate.”

12:35 – Knight’s amendment fails on a straight party-line vote, 5-10. Republicans vote no, Democrats vote yes.

12:38 – Let the word go out here: The Texas State Board of Education today refused to require that students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others. They voted to lie to students by omission.

Here was the amendment again: “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” And this board, on a vote of 10-5, said they don’t want Texas students to learn about this basic protection for the religious freedom of everyone in America.

Education Dean talks about Texas textbook decision

Parents, how about checking your child’s history textbooks to see if any important historical facts have disappeared.

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