Sometimes I hate Texas. I’d consider moving there, because I like warm weather, football, and breakfast burritos, but good luck ever trying to convince me to put my children through the Texas school system. Just Google News “Texas social studies curriculum” and you should get an idea of the recent push that they are trying to make in their social studies curriculum lately. If you consider yourself progressive, you will more than likely be as sickened as I am. The reason that this is important is because Texas is one of the major textbook buyers. Since publishers don’t make separate textbooks for each state based on their political demographic, they generally make their textbooks Texas educational standards friendly, because they want Texas school systems to buy their books.
Of course, Texas is known for being full of conservative nincompoops. Check out the latest story from Dallas News:
What do the authors of the children’s book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and a 2008 book called Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation have in common? Both are named Bill Martin and, for now, neither is being added to Texas schoolbooks.
In its haste to sort out the state’s social studies curriculum standards this month, the State Board of Education tossed children’s author Martin, who died in 2004, from a proposal for the third-grade section. Board member Pat Hardy, R-Weatherford, who made the motion, cited books he had written for adults that contain “very strong critiques of capitalism and the American system.”
Trouble is, the Bill Martin Jr. who wrote the Brown Bear series never wrote anything political, unless you count a book that taught kids how to say the Pledge of Allegiance, his friends said. The book on Marxism was written by Bill Martin, a philosophy professor at DePaul University in Chicago.
Hardy admits to never having read the book titled Ethical Marxism, yet decided to ban it and all of Martin’s books anyway – despite the fact that a book on Marxism is not a book that would end up in a third grade classroom anyway and even if it did, a third grader would just throw it aside wondering where all of the pictures were.
Michael Sampson, Martin’s co-author on thirty of his books, chimed in, saying that the motion to ban the books is “a new low in terms of the group that’s supposed to represent education having such faulty research and making such a false leap without substantiating what they’re doing.”
This is the state that threatens secession every other day though and had George W. Bush as their governor for nearly six years. Which I suppose answers my question as to how people such as Hardy get in a position of power like this in the first place.