"Don't Mess With Texas" is a popular slogan in our most prosperous state. By a 10-to-five margin, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) just told liberals to stop "messing" with social studies textbooks.
For years, liberals have imposed their revisionist history on our nation's public school students, expunging important facts and historic figures while loading the textbooks with liberal propaganda, distortions and cliches. It's easy to get a quick lesson in the virulent left-wing bias by checking the index and noting how textbooks treat President Ronald Reagan and Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
When parents object to left-wing inclusions and omissions, claiming they should have something to say about what their own children are being taught and how their taxpayers' money is spent, they are usually vilified as "book burners" and belittled as uneducated primitives who should allow the "experts" to decide. The self-identified "experts" are alumni of liberal teachers colleges and/or members of a left-wing teachers union.
In most states, the liberal education establishment enjoys total control over the state's board of education, department of education and curriculum committees. Texas is different -- the Texas State Board of Education is elected, and the people (even including parents!) have a voice.
Texas is uniquely important in textbook content because the state of Texas is the largest single purchaser of textbooks. Publishers can hardly afford to print different versions for other states, so Texas curriculum standards have nationwide influence.
The review of social studies curriculum (covering U.S. government, American history, world history and economics) comes up every 10 years, and 2010 is one of those years. The unelected education "experts" proposed their history revisions, such as eliminating Independence Day, Christopher Columbus, Thomas Edison, Daniel Boone and Neil Armstrong, and replacing Christmas with Diwali.
After a public outcry, the SBOE responded with common-sense improvements. Thomas Edison, the world's greatest inventor, will be again included in the narrative of American history.
Schoolchildren will no longer be misled into believing that capitalism and the free market are dirty words and that America has an unjust economic system. Instead, they will learn how the free-enterprise system gave our nation and the world so much that is good for so many people.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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