Kelly Shackelford: Why the Texas Textbook Wars Matter to Every American





[Kelly Shackelford, Esq., is president and CEO of Liberty Institute, a post he has held since 1997.]

...Texas is in the process of adopting its social studies standards, which only happens every ten years. The standards cover U.S. Government, American History, World History, and more, and they affect how students in grades K – 12 see America, its founding principles, and its heroes for the next decade.

More than that, because Texas is one of the largest consumers of textbooks in the nation, publishers use these curriculum standards for textbooks that are distributed in nearly every state in the union. Thus, what happens in Texas will impact the nation.

Probably for that reason, a liberal onslaught has been unleashed to try to influence these education standards. An unelected review panel, not the elected members of Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), attempted to push through a number of highly questionable changes to the standards – removing Independence Day, Neil Armstrong, Daniel Boone, and Christopher Columbus – from them. They even dumped Christmas and replaced it with Diwali. You can’t make this stuff up! After a huge outcry from citizens and strong leadership by conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education, each of these changes was reversed.

Sadly, the attacks didn’t stop there. Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were removed from World History, yet Mary Kay and Wallace Amos (of Famous Amos Cookies) were added, it appears, for more “diversity.” That’s unbelievable. Edison is the greatest inventor in American history with over 1,000 patents; oh, and by the way, that Einstein guy was pretty successful too!

Again, that’s part of why the liberals attack. They don’t like the concept of American exceptionalism, both by those who were born here and by the other great high-skilled men and women who are so attracted to the United States that they moved here from other countries.

Thankfully, the conservatives on the SBOE once again held the line. Edison and Einstein are back in World History. An attack to remove “B.C.” and “A.D.” -- denoting historical time periods before and after the birth of Christ – also lost, and, so far, the attempt to remove the statement about the religious basis of the founding of the country has failed.

These battles are not over. More votes are coming....

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