Each year, millions of schools get budget cuts. Some schools have to let some teachers go and drop after school programs. Many parents find themselves fighting with the school boards, trying to keep their children’s school open. If some schools are failing with grades and test scores, many school officials will say the school needs to make some changes or close the school down. Chicago, New York, Texas and Los Angeles are the popular city that experience large budget cuts each year.
The 2008 presidential election will always be known as a historical election. I remember the day I was standing in Grant Park in Chicago, waiting to see who the next president of the United Stated would be.
The 2010 election cycle in Chicago was dominated by women. Men are no longer running the show in Illinois politics. African American women around the state are pushing for their spots as pillars in the community. Toni Preckwinkle, Robin Kelly and Toi Hutchinson are three black women who are taking steps to build up Illinois communities, restore integrity and pave the way for future leaders.
In 1946, President Harry S. Truman appointed the President's Committee on Civil Rights to investigate the state of civil rights within the nation. Almost a year later, the committee released a report titled “To Secure These Rights,” in which they exposed the racial discrimination in the U.S. armed forces.
Thousands of people filled the Midway Plaisance Park waiting to welcome the President of the United States back home. The Moving America Forward Rally was held on October 30, to encourage the people of Chicago and Illinois to vote in the November elections.
Every nine-and-a-half minutes one American becomes infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to the Office of National AIDS Policy. The epidemic is having a devastating effect on the nation.
They were a select few were sitting in a room. They crowned themselves as gatekeepers of the nation’s past, and with one vote, history became their-story.
However, none of them were historians, scholars or academics. They were Republicans whose ideas of what should be taught in classrooms were based on biased partisan beliefs.
As a result, the relentless struggle between “left” and “right” has taken over what millions students in grades K-12 will be learning.
The Texas elected state board of education is comprised of 10 Republicans and five Democrats. They have made more than 100 amendments to the social studies, history and economics curriculum since January. The changes will reach deeply into Texas history classrooms, defining what textbooks must include and what teachers must cover.
The last vote in March won with 10 to 5 approval along party lines. All the Republicans on the board voted for the “right-wing” modifications.
Because the Texas textbook market is so large, books assigned to the state's 4.7 million students often rocket to the top of the market, setting the textbook purchasing trend for districts around the nation.
The curriculum standards were originally proposed by a panel of teachers. However, politicians deeming themselves as “experts” made the final decisions.
Because of 10 Republicans, for the next 10 years students will be taught based on anti-liberal preferences. They have voted to remove current curriculum areas, including civil rights and global politics, replacing them with conservative historic figures and beliefs.
The voting members claimed that they were trying to correct what they see as a liberal bias among the teachers who proposed the curriculum.
One guideline requires publishers to include a section on “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”
The curriculum demotes the role of Thomas Jefferson among the founding fathers, because board members' did not approve of his support for separation of church and state.
References to Ralph Nader and Ross Perot are to be removed, while Stonewall Jackson, the Confederate general, is to be listed as a role model for effective leadership, and the ideas in Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address are to be laid side by side with Abraham Lincoln’s speeches.
There is an amendment that deletes a requirement that sociology students, "explain how institutional racism is evident in American society."
Despite the state’s large Hispanic population, the inclusion of Latino figures as role models was denied. An opposed amendment would have integrated the fact that Tejanos Mexicanos died at the Alamo fighting for Texan independence alongside Davie Crockett and Jim Bowie.
According to the changes, “capitalism” is out as a name for the U.S. economic system. One of the members in the Republican majority claimed the term held “negative connotations.” Consequentially, the required term will now be "free enterprise system." This amendment emphasizes the free enterprise system over others as one of the most superior systems in the world.
It was suggested that the curriculum incorporate the study of the impact of cultural movements in art, music and literature such as Tin Pan Alley, the Beat Generation, rock ‘n’ roll, country-western music and hip-hop. The board majority tossed out hip-hop as offensive but made sure to accommodate country music.
As the list of amendments continues, it’s hard to believe that these are actually legitimate changes. Someone would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see the narrow-mindedness and political bigotry that these amendments represent.
What the Texas Board of Education has accomplished is building a nation of right-winged thought by squeezing out what they feel is “too liberal” to be taught.
It would have made more common sense if Texas decided to alter curriculums based on the consensus an equal amount of well-educated scientist, researchers, historians and scholars who just so happen to be democrats, republicans and even independents.
Those are people who can be trusted with decisions that will have such crucial consequences for the rest of the country for years to come.
Exclusion is not education. The manipulation of historical figures and events will only lead to increased bias.
Education is the process that has formative effects on the mind, character and ability of our youth. As these conservatives have their way, they will have a negative impact on the knowledge skills and values of the upcoming generations.
It is not the job of politicians to decide what children will learn. It is the job of scholars and academicians to ensure that students are cultivated into open-minded, enlightened, critical thinking intellectuals.
Unfortunately, when this board has a final vote in May, the outcome will be brainwashed children groomed to fit partisan agendas.
The future of education seems incredibly bleak if Texas’ textbooks other state’s school districts invest in the same books Texas has crafted.
This is not exactly the time for the rest of the nations states to play “follow the leader.”
The fair and factual education of millions of children depends on the ability of parents and politicians around the nation to look past color lines. This time it’s not about black and white, it’s red and blue.
Until then, the textbooks in question should come with Parental Advisory Stickers.
Reader discretion advised. This textbook may contain strong bias. Some readers may find this content offensive that the opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the truth.
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