Teach Them Children Good

The Texas State Board of Education meets today to continue politicizing, I mean editing our states text book guidelines, which as one of the largest text-book purchasers in the country go on to impact other states curricula.

Since the last meeting, board member and former chair Don McLeroy — the most aggressive amender of curriculum and a self-proclaimed “religious fanatic” who believes education is “too important not to politicize” — narrowly lost the Republican primary to lobbyist Thomas Ratliff, a moderate who campaigned on a platform of depoliticizing the board. But don’t expect McLeroy, who will serve the remainder of this year, to limp out like a lame duck. Asked whether the election results would affect his plans for the social studies curriculum, he said, “Gosh no. I had some tremendous opposition, and a lot of people working against me, and I still almost won. The fact that I would change would be silly.

“The people who write about there being a tilt to the right in the curriculum never write about the tilt to the left, because they just don’t see it,” McLeroy said. “The reason why there’s so many more amendments to the social studies curriculum than to other subjects is because the balance was lacking. The populists, the progressives, the Great Society, all that stuff is from the left. … This country was founded on conservative, limited-government principles.”

The Texas Tribune has a annotated copy of the last round of amendments – including McLeroy’s attempt to replace Hip-hop as a cultural value with country music – viewable in a fancy data application here.

Update: Not surprisingly, things yesterday continued on a predictable path.