TEXAS COULD CHANGE STUDENTS’ VIEWS OF AMERICA
“Texas Could Change Students’ Views of America”
By Donna Garner
Could Texas lead the way to return our public school classrooms to the study of America as an exceptional nation with a rich religious heritage and the most successful free enterprise system in the world?
Yes, this could happen this week when the Texas State Board of Education votes on Friday on the adoption of new K-12 Social Studies instructional materials (IM’s). Once publishers produce IM’s that satisfy Texas’ requirements, then those same IM’s are typically used in many other states.
Neal Frey of Educational Research Analysts is known across this country as the guru of textbook evaluations, and publishers have recognized his unquestionable expertise for many years. In fact, because publishers want to sell their products in Texas (and in other states), numerous publishers have learned to seek out Frey’s counsel during the process of writing their textbooks. [Educational Research Analysts accepts no donations from any publishers or vendors.] Unfortunately, as the number of IM’s has increased exponentially because of digitized materials, it has become impossible for Mr. Frey to evaluate all of them.
HERE IS WHERE IT GETS EXCITING
Lt. Col. Roy White (retired) and his group of over 100 volunteers — Truth in Texas Textbooks — stepped up. These 100+ volunteers are made up of college professors, curriculum people, retired educators, and concerned citizens. For over a year, they have been organizing and preparing themselves to evaluate IM’s and then present their findings not only to the SBOE this week but also to grassroots citizens through public meetings and the social media in the future.
Because of SB 6 (which many Texans want the Texas Legislature to rewrite), local school districts are not required to purchase IM’s that have gone through the SBOE approval process. SB 6 makes it possible for locals to purchase IM’s with Permanent School Funds, and the IM’s only have to cover 50% of the TEKS. [It is SB 6 that has made it possible for local administrators to purchase Common Core and CSCOPE materials with PSF dollars.]
White’s group intends to issue a report card scoring each of the IM’s and will make this report card available to all 1,200+ school districts. TTT will publicize which IM’s are rated “worst,” and it may be difficult for local school board members who want to get re-elected to support the purchase of IM”s that are on the “worst” list.
To learn more about the TTT plan which brings transparency and can be duplicated in the other states, please read “First Time Ever Done in America: Truth in Texas Textbooks” — by Donna Garner — 11.9.14 —http://www.educationviews.org/time-america-truth-texas-textbooks/
PUBLIC TESTIMONY YESTERDAY
Yesterday, 11.18.14, the SBOE held a public hearing on the K-12 Social Studies IM’s that are the first produced since the Board adopted the most fact-based, patriotic curriculum standards (TEKS) in the entire country (2010).
The encouraging news is that many of the publishers adhered to the verbiage and intent of the TEKS. Frey and TTT have said that a large number of the Social Studies IM’s are a vast improvement over previous adoptions.
Unfortunately, other publishers have decided to align their IM’s with the Common Core (e.g., McGraw and Pearson), allowing their materials to be filled with factual errors, half-truths, untruths, lack of balance, and biases.
Texas Freedom Network hired a number of leftists to promote misinformation to denigrate the SBOE, the Social Studies curriculum standards (TEKS), and any IM’s that follow the TEKS.
One of the allegations made by the TFN leftists is that the publishers should not have indicated that Moses and the Ten Commandments influenced the U. S. Constitution!
SBOE member Ken Mercer made it very clear yesterday that Moses and the Ten Commandments are rightly displayed in the U. S. Supreme Court Building and on the State grounds of the Capitol in Austin. Any well-educated American should know that Mosaic Law forms much of the basis for our U. S. Constitution.
Lt. Col. Roy White criticized publishers who have stated, “Islam was spread by conquest, missionary work, and trade.” He pointed out that the person who pressured the publishers to use the preceding wording is the Executive Director of the Dallas Chapter of CAIR. This organization along with over 300 Muslim and Islamic groups have been identified by the U. S. Federal Government as co-conspirators with the Holy Land Foundation in which the leadership was convicted of supporting terrorism. Just last week the country of UAE designated CAIR as a terrorist organization.
White also criticized Worldview publishers for its statement saying Muhammed improved the status of women under Islam when in fact Muhammed said a woman needs four witnesses (all male) for a legal case to be made against a male rapist.
White also stated that in the Quran, 71% of the over 12,000 words puts women in a “low status” as compared to men. In the Hadiths (the stories of Muhammed), the percentage is even higher – 93% of the over 43,000 words places women in a lesser position than men.
One of the SBOE members, Lawrence Allen, is a Muslim; and he stated that only Allah could issue a jihad. Testifier Dr. Amy Jo Baker countered by saying that with all due respect, Osama Bin Laden and ISIS had issued a jihad against the U. S and that the actions of 9/11, Benghazi, and the beheadings of Americans were not conducted by people who are struggling to do missionary work and become “better” people.
As if on cue, SBOE member Thomas Ratliff tried hard to destroy Lt. Col. White’s credibility and the efforts of TTT. Ratliff complained that TTT had not met the prescribed deadlines by the Texas Education Agency for submission of evaluations. White said TTT was somewhat late but explained that the TEA was seven weeks late in giving TTT access to the instructional materials. Even then TTT was not given the Internet links and password to Worldviews’ submissions. TTT had to go to an Education Service Center to get the URL’s and password. Evidently those were not accurate because after TTT had already done its evaluations, Worldview notified TTT that they had evaluated IM’s that were not being submitted in Texas.
Other TTT testifiers pointed out that Cengage/National Geographic is closely connected with Common Core and encourages 11-12 year-old students to become pen pals with e-mentor adults [who could well be members of ISIS]. Cengage also produces a cadre of inappropriate videos such as “Male Hummingbirds Sing for Sex,” “I Was Engaged When I Was Five,” “She Underwent the Painful Ritual of Female Genitalia Mutilation.” Because Cengage contains unlimited access to open portals, both students and their teachers can access these inappropriate videos.
Another testifier noted that many IM’s have continued to refer to America as a democracy rather than a Constitutional Republic as stated in the TEKS.
A&B Worldview World History states that the Space Race was won by the USSR and referred to Sputnik in 1957 but did not mention Eisenhower’s and Kennedy’s commitment to NASA and U. S. astronaut Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 landing on the moon.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that yesterday, the SBOE was supposed to take a preliminary vote to approve the Social Studies IM’s. Because of the incisive comments presented by TTT and other testifiers, four Democrats voted “No,” 5 other SBOE members abstained, and 4 voted “Yes.” The majority of Board members could not agree to approve the Social Studies IM’s in their present condition. The publishers have until this Friday to respond with corrections, and the final SBOE vote is to be taken this Friday after the Board members see the changes submitted by publishers.
EXCERPTS FROM TEKS SOCIAL STUDIES TEKS THAT PUBLISHERS ARE SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW
From the U.S. Government TEKS:
(1) History. The student understands how constitutional government, as developed in America and expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution, has been influenced by ideas, people, and historical documents. The student is expected to:
(A) explain major political ideas in history, including the laws of nature and nature’s God, unalienable rights, divine right of kings, social contract theory, and the rights of resistance to illegitimate government;
(B) identify major intellectual, philosophical, political, and religious traditions that informed the American founding, including Judeo-Christian (especially biblical law), English common law and constitutionalism, Enlightenment, and republicanism, as they address issues of liberty, rights, and responsibilities of individuals;
(C) identify the individuals whose principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding documents, including those of Moses, William Blackstone, John Locke, and Charles de Montesquieu;
(7) Government. The student understands the American beliefs and principles reflected in the U.S. Constitution and why these are significant. The student is expected to:
(G) examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America and guaranteed its free exercise by saying that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and compare and contrast this to the phrase, “separation of church and state.”
Here are a few TEKS from World History. Where are any inaccuracies?
(20) Government. The student understands how contemporary political systems have developed from earlier systems of government. The student is expected to:
(B) identify the impact of political and legal ideas contained in the following documents: Hammurabi’s Code, the Jewish Ten Commandments, Justinian’s Code of Laws, Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen;
VARIOUS ARTICLES IN THE MEDIA
11.19.14 — “Texas Vote Could Change Your Kid’s View of America” – CBN.com – 11
11.18.14 — “Common Core Stymies Vote on New Textbooks” – Texas Tribune —
11.13.14 — “Texas Group Compiles 469 Pages of Factual Errors, Omissions, and Biases in 32 History Textbooks” – by Danette Clark — http://www.fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/texas-group-compiles-469-pages-of-factual-errors-omissions-and-biases-in-32-history-textbooks/111388
LINKS TO TTT’S EVALUATIONS
Evaluations done by TTT reviewers – listed by the name of publishing company: http://truthintexastextbooks.com/texas-book-reviews/
Summary of findings – World History, Geography, and Cultures: http://truthintexastextbooks.com/about-us/
Summary of findings of factual errors, omission of facts, half-truths, and agenda bias — Economics, U. S. History, Government: http://truthintexastextbooks.com/about-us/