A LYS Teacher asks the following:


I know you stay current with the politics that effect education, but I want to share a snippet of the debate surrounding the teaching of U.S. History in Texas.

“…There is a complex and interesting story to tell about the ways religion influenced American history. But creating a caricature of Moses and inserting him into America’s founding is… well, bearing false witness…”

What the heck is going on in our elected bodies? I am very interested in your analysis.

SC Response First, the usual disclaimers:
1. This following is my opinion and personal analysis. 
2. I am an independent voter, voting a split ticket in every election, including the election last November.

It is no secret that over the last 10 years, The Tea Party and Far Right have essentially taken over the Republican Party in Texas. In fact, politicians that would have been considered ultra-conservative just a short 15 years ago are now branded as RINO (Republican In Name Only) and rarely survive primary battles.   And because Texas is a Red State, the Legislature, State Board of Education, Lt. Governor and Governor all tilt as far to the right and the most extreme liberal is skewed to left. 

Many of these politicians in word and deed are seemingly anti-science, anti-rational discourse, anti-poor, anti-non Christian, anti-tax, anti-public school, and anti-diversity.  They see textbooks and public schools as a battleground for the hearts and minds for their particular version of the ‘American Way.’  

Throw in the fact that their most ardent supporters are bullies, running effective “troll campaigns” on social media against those who espouse differing views and many of those in the middle simply stay quiet.  Because of my small influence in education and the fact that I will discuss facts and reality contrary to their ideology, even I, a self-professed school operations/leadership wonk, have been a target of the all too common, “He’s an evil liberal” campaigns.

As long as moderates (Independent, Republican and Democrat) stay away from primary voting, and those few who do vote in the general elections continue in large numbers to vote a straight ticket, things won’t change for a long time.

And in the short-run, the legislation concerning public education will become even more polarized.

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