Texas Social Studies Curriculum Vote Brings Out Worst in AP Bias, Labeling

March 12th, 2010 11:16 PM
Texas Sign

April Castro and the headline writers at the supposedly "objective" Associated Press are obviously not pleased with changes the Texas State Board of Education made to the Lone Star State's social studies curriculum.

Castro's report (HT to an NB e-mailer) makes almost no attempt to hide her clear disdain. She includes references to a "far-right faction" (a "faction" that happened to constitute a two-thirds majority!) and "ultraconservatives," while uniformly describing leftists as mere Democrats, and generally comes across as a sore loser in solidarity with the poor, outvoted libs.

You'll also see in the excerpt that follows that the story's headline is disgracefully over the top:

Texas ed board vote reflects far-right influences

AUSTIN, Texas — A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.

Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic," and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

"We have been about conservatism versus liberalism," said Democrat Mavis Knight of Dallas, explaining her vote against the standards. "We have manipulated strands to insert what we want it to be in the document, regardless as to whether or not it's appropriate."

.... Ultraconservatives wielded their power over hundreds of subjects this week, introducing and rejecting amendments on everything from the civil rights movement to global politics. Hostilities flared and prompted a walkout Thursday by one of the board's most prominent Democrats, Mary Helen Berlanga of Corpus Christi, who accused her colleagues of "whitewashing" curriculum standards.

By late Thursday night, three other Democrats seemed to sense their futility and left, leaving Republicans to easily push through amendments heralding "American exceptionalism" and the U.S. free enterprise system, suggesting it thrives best absent excessive government intervention.

Castro should have been asking why the items described in the excerpt, plus the following cited by the AP writer in unexcerpted paragraphs, haven't been in the social studies curriculum all along:

  • "... the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics."
  • former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
  • "a reference to the Second Amendment right to bear arms in a section about citizenship in a U.S. government class."

Apparently the ultimate insult occurred when "Conservatives beat back multiple attempts to include hip-hop as an example of a significant cultural movement."

Oh the humanity.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.