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May 22nd, 2010
04:00 AM ET

Texas Textbook Fallout: Your Comments

A CONTENTIOUS VOTE TO MAKE CHANGES INSIDE TEXAS CLASSROOMS - NOW IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT.

THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION FRIDAY NIGHT APPROVED AMENDED GUIDELINES FOR SOCIAL STUDIES AND HISTORY TEXTBOOKS.

CONSERVATIVE SUPPORTERS SAY THE CHANGES ARE DESIGNED TO "BALANCE" SCHOOL CURRICULA. CRITICS SAY THE MOVE IS AN ATTEMPT TO REWRITE HISTORY.

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK – WRITE YOUR COMMENTS HERE.

Post by:
Filed under: Anchors • CNN Newsroom • Josh Levs
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. simon

    The US is rapdly descending into idiocracy. These religious and conservative bigots should not be allowed to pollute the minds of children by interfering with the teaching of science and history.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  2. floridaretired

    When the Texas Schoolboard says the civil war was over state rights, I suppose they are saying that citizens of a state had the right to keep human beings as slaves to use "however" they wished. They are saying that no person or government had the right to interfere with how they wanted to treat their citizens. Think about it people. We have countries all over the world who still believe that way and will kill or rape or torture...just because they can.

    May 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  3. sarah

    This ruling in TEXAS is an ABOMINATION

    All throughout history people are Passive and let these people who claim to be religious make rules to oppress us. How can any government let this happen. Bu being passive you will allow them to brainwash our children into believing there wasnt a Holocaust. Put on your news the book "I never saw a butterfly" In fact Make that man from Texas read it as punishment then Hang him from a tree by his feet naked and let him feel freed from his sins..

    May 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  4. Jesse Lopez

    I am a resident of the state of Texas, and have been all my life. I live in the city of San Antonio, which is a majority Democratic city. It is unfortunate that the rest of our state has fallen victim to the Christian-Conservative party of the right, more commonly known as the Republican Party. While their intentions are often in good "faith", that often tends to be the major issue with their political platform – faith. While the Bible, and other Christian literature, happen to be very good books with very good stories, we as intelligent human beings should take them for what they are. Before any assumptions are made about me, I am a Christian and would like to believe I am very open-minded.

    The Republican Party has seen its "iron-fist" grip on the political world slowly slip away over time. The reason is mainly because with time comes adaptation and change. We cannot honestly believe that we, as an American society, can move forward in this world without allowing our mind set and belief evolve with the rest of the world.

    Since 2001 we have seen our country fall further and further behind the rest of the world. There is a reason for that, the correllation is obvious and does not need to be pointed out. It is rather unfortunate that our current law makers have been taxed with the expectation of cleaning up the mess that took eight years to create, in a matter of less than two.

    Let's be honest, the wealthy have seen their rise come to an end. They have no problem creating services and products to mass market and sell to the public, which consists mainly of the lower and middle classes. We buy those products and services, which help line their pockets. And while they are willing to take money from us, it is unfortunate that they refuse to help those that helped them achieve their success by living up to their social responsibility and paying their fair share of taxes to support our country as a whole.

    The Republicans have seen their grip slip away in the rest of the country and are much more intelligent than we take them for. In order for the wealthy to stay wealthy, the funds that circulate through our economy must stay concentrated in that small percent of the population. They understand that the textbooks that we issue and learn from affect the rest of the country. They have taken the stance that many drug dealers did in the late 80's and early 90's: "Get to the masses while they are young and impressionable."

    All in all, it's completely disgusting and we see right through you.

    May 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  5. LIZ CARTER in Georgia

    THE WHITE MAN IS ANGRY AND JEALOUS OF THE AFRICAN AMERICANS AND OTHER ETHNIC GROUPS FINE AND NOBLE HISTORIES IN THIS COUNTRY. THEREFORE, THEY RATHER DELETE IT FROM THE BOOKS SO THAT THEIR CHILDREN WANT HAVE ACCESS TO IT SO EASILY. THEY'RE ASHAMED OF SOME OF THEIR OWN HISTORY IN THIS NATION. RATHER THAN TO ADMIT IT, TRY TO MAKE AMENDS TO THE PEOPLE THEY HARMED, THEY'D RATHER 'CHANGE HISTORY' OR WRITE IT OUT OF DOCUMENTATION. WE HAD TO LISTEN TO OUR ELDERS AND GO TO THE LIBRARY FOR OUR TRUE HISTORY ANYWAY!

    May 21, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  6. Carl

    Its a no brainer. Boycott the purchase of those propaganda books around the country and buy what you believe are the books of integrity and credibility. Do your own homework!

    May 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  7. mike sey

    "And now, children, we turn to the Father of our country, Davey Crockett. And always remember he killt a 'bar when he was only three.....

    May 22, 2010 at 5:43 am |
  8. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    The eyes of Texas are upon you the North has there truth and the South has there truth maybe the North should wright there own history book's .

    May 22, 2010 at 5:54 am |
  9. Charlie from West Virginia

    Liz, if you're going to post an opinion, at least address it to the proper group of people. The closest I can think of in this situation is "Texas white conservatives". The way you've stated your comment, makes you sound like you're a part of the problem. Generalizing has been a problem in race relations for a very long time. A comment like yours, blaming all white men, just serves to regress, not progress. I'm a white guy and I'm not angry with or jealous of any race or ethnic group.

    I'll wait till after the 9:00 AM hour report, before I comment.

    May 22, 2010 at 5:57 am |
  10. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    I never put that much thought into that old saying that the south shall rise again until now .

    May 22, 2010 at 6:11 am |
  11. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    The NAACP dont make Texas law or write Texas history we dont cow to activist like the North does .

    May 22, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  12. dustin

    i think the teachers that cover the class should be say what is put in the texbooks.

    May 22, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  13. Gary

    While Texas can fight over the content of the textbooks they want their children to use, other states should be cautious about following Texas. After all, we followed them into the folly of the George W. Bush presidency and look where that took us. Let's learn from RECENT history and tell the textbook publishers that what what works in Texas is not necessarily good for the rest of us.

    May 22, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  14. brad

    Most people equate an education in this country with elitism and being out of touch anyways, so at the risk of alienating our kids, I think it's a good thing to keep promoting intolerance and ignorance for our children. Honestly, who's surprised, conservatives wish to take our country back to the stone age, and sadly are quite successful.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  15. Nelson Eason

    History was my favorite class of learning about different events in school. I think what they are doing is not good trying to change history. I'm from Duncanville,Texas.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  16. ilene

    We do not have to buy these books. Most Text books are expensive and and out date themselves. School distrists could better spend our money investing in internet and updating the curiculum each year. Just think save a tree (s) and then our children do not need right wing bias taught to them. And by the way we are a democracy.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:03 am |
  17. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    9 t0 5 your wasting your breath T J . Texas is like Arizona once our minds are made up we stick to our guns just go find a corner and cry about it .

    May 22, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  18. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    All this stuff about hanging fruit and slaves was part of the North also some of this stuff is way to graphic for kids .

    May 22, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  19. Kevin Kelly

    It is a new low for Republicans who have not distanced themselves from the politically oriented decision in Texas. The Nazis are in control on the Texas Bd of Ed.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  20. Marcella Marshall

    I feel they are trying to rewrite history. History is what it is, so no point in changing any words or deleting them out. If you are going to study history let the facts remain so people can understand what really took place. How do they feel changing the facts will bring "balance to standards?"

    May 22, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  21. Erin

    The good news is, I doubt the actual textbooks will have any real impact. Kids are far more influenced by actual people in their lives - teachers and parents specifically. Those of us who believe that in equality, separation of church and state, and the inclusion of minorities will teach our kids just that, regardless of the textbooks.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  22. Amber

    I am going to school to be a social studies teacher and this issue makes me want to cry. I love politics but they should be left out of our schools. Luckily I am in Florida which is another textbook heavy hitter but I feel sorry for the students who will be stuck with this. 1984 anyone?

    May 22, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  23. D Brown NYC

    When history is deleted it is forgotten. Whitewashed stories dont equate to facts. Parents need to boycott the publisher. Don't make your child ignorant to facts children all around the world will know

    May 22, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  24. Robbie

    I'm an independent normally suspicious of the religious right but I was very disappointed and irritated by the way the NAACP head handled this exchange. He never let the conservative finish a single point. And I noticed that when TJ suggested that all watchers should go read the standards for ourselves, Mr. Saenz was nodding vigorously but Mr. Jealous kept his head still. It really seems like Mr. Jealous was doing everything in his power that only his views would become part of the discussion, and I thought that was the thing he was fighting against.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  25. Mike D

    TJ's point at the end of the debate on the TX SBOE was key. The fact that there was a party-line vote on the textbook contents shows there is a problem with the process and the participants. Whatever your opinion is on any single item, the politics is far too strong of a factor.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  26. Becky Woodard

    I am a teacher in Texas, and no one has ask my opinion. This makes me very nervous, for years the truth was not told in social studies and history books. We finally started making the moves forward. This sounds like we are taking a step back and not educating our students with the truth.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  27. al,ca

    Unbelievable....one state is rewriting history for the whole country??? Serious? U guys are pooched. Politics and Religion mixed up in everything. The Nazi's rewrote history. I am shocked and stunned by this load of garbage.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  28. Robert

    I am a government teacher in the state of texas and as i was reviewing the new proposed standards, I was amazed to find and learn for the first time that Moses contributed to the formation of the U.S. Constitution. I am not one of those liberal government teachers with an agenda. I do attend church on a regular basis, but the supposition that Moses contributed to the formation of U.S. government is rediculous.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  29. Jen

    I've been listening to this debate in Texas for a few weeks. While we understand that the study of history is a living thing and changes with future understanding of the past, it is clear that these "educated" folks who are making these important and far reaching decisions to leave out important people in the history books, are clearly, not qualified to be doing so. Thank God my children will not be raised in Texas.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  30. David Jahntz

    The Germans should have to be taught about the Holocaust. The Japanese should have to be taught about their attack on Pearl Harbor. And Americans should have to be taught that Black slaves were described as a commodity by early Americans. The label of a "triangle trade pattern" is appropriate because Blacks were considered as a "species of property" in this country at one time. The emotional baggage of history is what drives later social change.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  31. future man

    I think we are going backward. The more conservative view we hold. More religion in study and less seperation will lead us to compete with taliban. nothing else. Wake up . look at history. We lead the world with open arm and thoughts. In history no country can maintian the world with conservatism and religious view.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  32. kat

    To be honest I didn't hear a clear opinion from either one of these "gentlemen". They were too busy talking over each other. Where were they educated about courtesy?

    May 22, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  33. al,ca

    Bigotry is alive in Texas...biggest part of the state. They still cant admit they lost the civil war. Make-believe god will save us all. Evolution is a lie. Yell it loud enough...long enough and some will believe it.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  34. Wil

    The more America resembles Texas, the better off we are.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  35. Gene Meier

    Textbooks? They are out of date. If you need to teach using a textbook instead utilizing today's awesome technological advances...you shouldn't be teaching.
    If the standards are followed, a good teacher can find all the content they need and more..online.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  36. Char

    I find it interesting that textbooks are "written" by partisan politicos, rather than educators and historians. Why is this? And politicos are doing the same thing in Arizona...deciding which subjects should be covered and which should not.

    Local school boards are elected, while state school boards are appointed...why is that?

    May 22, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  37. Charanda

    People are making a big deal over nothing. Hey guess what its a part of history How about the history books also add in the fact that there was white slaves, the mistreated and some cases wipedout native Indians.Include other things that people should know about ,Who cares about the word slave thats the way it was why change it.We know that it wasn't right but it happened. Think about it! Fusing over something so insignificant this is pathetic. When are people gonna wake up!

    May 22, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  38. D Brown NYC

    who lead the committee for these changes. Archie Bunker?.. This is a farce. I'm so glad my children dont live in TX and I will go to my local school district and make sure the books with the edited versions of history never reach our students..This is a crime and should not be allowed

    May 22, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  39. Shelia

    What has made the United States democracy survive for more than 200 years is our ability to come to terms with religious, cultural, ethnic, social, and political diversity. In a poly-cultural, poly-ethnic country, rewriting history to fit a political ideology threatens to produce the type of intolerance that creates societal instability. The environment in this country is already meaner, nastier and less civil than it has been since the 1950s. Brainwashing future generations with partial truths can only weaken this country, not strengthen it.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  40. RuRus

    Ignorance breeds ignorance, and now they want to teach it. Just another lost truth to political expedience. Teaching can easily turn to brainwashing, nothing should be excluded and all things should be discussed. This was the truth speaks for itself.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  41. Kristi

    We will never move our family to Texas and I guarentee you that if my kid's school books come from there we will be home schooling our children. I find it sad that other countries will know our history better than some of our children!
    To say this was not political is nothing but a lie! If the vote came on party lines then it was a party vote. Politicians should not be allowed to distort our history for one side or the other...it's history! It should be written by historians and voted upon by historians and educators who are currently educating our children!

    May 22, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  42. Paul

    Politicians should NOT be involved in writing history books!!!!!

    May 22, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  43. Jeanne Williams

    It was frustrating to watch this discussion. I now lean in favor of the Texas board as their representative seemed to be able to present his 'side' coherently . I have found that people who talk over others in a debate usually have emotion only and not facts on their side. T.J. seemed very frustrated at the inability of the guests to have a courteous, adult discussion.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  44. Carlos

    Why would we let Texas, the state that raised a President who believed our constitution is just "a piece of paper," a state that was created under the crazy belief that it was our God given right to steal Mexican land, write any history at all!

    May 22, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  45. Dennis

    Good teachers will do what is right and teach/add/subtract to paint a correct picture of American History. Or, better yet, don't buy the textbooks. There are many other sources of good information ... libraries, museums, historic sites ... get the kids out of the classrooms and into the real history.
    Could California have it right? Maybe this is a good reason to go away from textbooks and use more well evaluated electronic resources ...

    May 22, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  46. Eric Venema

    Any point Mr Jealous was trying to make was lost because of his exceedingly rude behavior. My child went to 7th grade in CA last year, the state which used set the textbook standards. Her textbook had three chapters on Islam. Religion in public schools outrages me!! When I complained I was told too bad, you child goes too school in CA. So all you posters complaining about Texas should look at what the political has done for years. Education should not be politicized.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  47. Vicki Eastridge

    Native Americans have been incorrectly represented in text books for ever. I have not heard any reference as to what historically incorrect information is being added or if we have been deleted completely.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  48. Troy

    @joshlevscnn really? So Texas has become the first state to be a religiously conservative dictatorship state? When do they plan to seceed and become the third world country they are meant to be in the first place?

    May 22, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  49. bwe

    The issue of textbook standards with The Texas State Board of Education has been with us for the better part of two years. The issue is not only important to Texans but to every one of us. We have witnessed how political ideology has warped history in a strawman argument of trying to achieve "balance."

    But where have CNN and the other major news networks been in the last two years in covering this issue? Only after the vote has been taken do we see any focus on the issue. I think that's sad.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  50. Archie

    Hit the publisher where it hurts order textbooks from another publisher if possible. I would look at the publisher also he may be a fellow Holy Roller. They have been known to go to the polls drunk on horseback to vote against drinking and horseracing. They elected W. twice, enough said.........

    May 22, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  51. Mike Ryan

    WE were taught in elementary that the great explorers were men spreading christianity.Later on they were found out to be genocidal maniacs bent on obtaining gold and forced labor for profit.How ashamed I am to have been taught this.Henando Desoto who is said to have discovered the Miss river is responsible for the deaths of 1 million native Americans from massacres and the spread of European smallpox in his search for gold. Mr Jealous is correct-lets teach the truth about history

    May 22, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  52. Barry

    No curriculum can cover all of the persons, institutions and events that have made up the history of our country, let alone the world. It appears that people are assuming that students will never ready about history on their own or that they will not form their own opionions based on many influences, least of which will be a text book. It is too bad this process seems to be now focused on adult agendas and not the students.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  53. cheri

    What idiocy. The Gold standard? That went out in the 1930's-long before anyone one that board was born. Looking at Texas, I am reminded of the early years of Hitler's Germany: Purity over Truth, distortion of History to serve the state or religious purposes, the "rightness" of thier beielfs over individual thought andexpression. Maybe these folks also subscribe to Paul's theory of "private business"-can do what you want, teach what you want and serve whomever you wish only if "they" fit your criteria.
    I wouldn't put my kids in any Texas school, not just because off the cirriculum, but because of the racists and bigots they are educating their children to become.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  54. Jack West

    First of all I truly enjoy watching and listening to TJ, but the way he let the obnoxios, arrogant, rude NAACP rep constantly, over and over interupt
    the School ,s rep was terrible.

    The only thing I got out of it was they were taking Slavery out of the text's, ( NAACP ) I could not even hear what the other guy tried to say ( Schools).
    Jack

    May 22, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  55. Brad

    It is about time all the truth be told regarding our history.

    I wonder if Texas will tell how, when Texas was part of Mexico and Americans started to settle there with their slaves. Slavery was illegal in Mexico and Mexico sent troops to deport the Americans but we saw it as an opportunity to go to war with Mexico and take Texas for ourselves along with several other states. You don't hear much of the truth about that do you?

    May 22, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  56. Texas Teacher

    As a social study teacher in the state of Texas I am appalled at this ruling. I believe my students should be allowed to draw their own conclusions from an accurate presentation of history, not one that is clouded by political motives by petty people trying to forward their own ideals. Next thing we know, the suffrage and civil rights movements will be removed, and the students will grow up believing there was no such thing as amendments to the constitution.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  57. Joan ValaNejad

    Internet information will make hard copy text books antiquated.
    This also allows for studying multiple sources and avoiding bias, revisionism and censorship.
    Content can be selected by school boards at the local level without economic pressure from those school systems who have been controlling content by ordering large quantities.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  58. RD Holt

    TJ allowed his guest not to answering his question on why the school board took the term Slave Trade out of the history book. He also missed an chance to pin the same guest down on who picked the "hand picked expert" that testified so glowingly about the changes in front of the board. Keep up the good work.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  59. Francois

    Dear Josh,

    The History of our country CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be manipulated or distorted, especially when it pertains to a painful event such as slavery. We all know that the Triangular Trade stems from the capture, shipment, sale, and exploitation of Africans throughout the Americas which yielded colossal profits to Europe and North America. In other words, The Slave Trade was the premises, the start of the whole process which resulted in the Triangular Trade, AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Thanks for your attention to this fundamental point.

    Francois D.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  60. Mike

    Mr. Jealous should not have been allowed to continually interrupt Mr. Saenz. I left there not really feeling that the issues was fairly discussed, but only that the louder of the two (Jealous) got to be heard. CNN should have warned Jealous at the break and cut off his microphone whenever he started interrupting Saenz.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  61. John Gygax

    One item in the Texas standards is missing , the classroom teacher who will be using the text books .and could add supplemental reading list or material. As a teacher I would be happy if they read anything.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  62. Sam

    Didn't these same individuals that voted for this change use the same curriculum text books they are trying to change? If that same terminology and relevant history that was used didn't have a negative impact on their view point, then why do they see the need to influence how our children think now? What's the real driver?

    May 22, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  63. michelle

    Kudos to T.J. for not being scared of the fray! Unfortunately history books have always been filled with slant and lies. It's amazing how people will approve of that, but would balk at teaching incorrect math. Kids should be taught the truth at all times, even when it is unpleasant. What will the board do next? Maybe leave out that Caucasians were responsible for the slave trade! I'm white and the issues can make me squirm, but light should always be shone on every dark issue. Do we want our children to know less about American history than immigrants who pass citizens tests?

    May 22, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  64. Frank Sagnibene

    I am 58 and maybe I just did not focus on similar news years ago. But, does anyone think that text books obver the last 40 years have not already changed. They have and with somewhat more "liberal" interpretations of history or other learning events.
    Oh well , I guess the "change" liberals talk about is good, so long as it is change that they support. It is "ok" if what our children learn in schools is what liberals think is appropriate, instead of what conservatives think is appropriate.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  65. joseph Smooth

    ...just a matter of time, the kids will surely discover the untold darksides of the history because education is an adventurious process; no knowledge is a waste...

    May 22, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  66. Charanda

    I also can say that I think what has happened was a shameful act and the descendants are having to carry that weight. The high and mighty whites are getting the panties in a wad and so now they are trying to paint this it wasn't so bad picture.And to make the ones that are touchy touchy about words get over it! this is a joke!

    May 22, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  67. jOHN E MORGAN

    THIS IS THE MOST INCREDIBLE EFFORT TO CHANGE THE PAINFUL REAL HISTORY.WwE NEED TO OWN WHAT WE FIRCED ON MINORITYS OF ALL COUNTRYS.ESPIECIALY THE HISTORY OF SLAVERY OF SLAVES IN THIS COUNTRY. i AM 63 AND i LIVESD TROUGH THE UPHEAVIL OF THE 60'S.eVAN THOUGH THE SOCIETY HAS CHANGED CONSIDERTBLY'WE ARE STILL NOT SECURE IN THIS EFFORT.the fact that we electied a black president,just look at the wall that have been put in his way to show him ineffectivle.We simply cant allow this kind of lies to be taught in our schools.JOHN MORGAN,AT JROOSTERMORGAN@YAHOO.COM

    May 22, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  68. Dan Spiekermeier

    This is a "govenment overreach" proposed by the Republican Right Wing who want to force the pulic to think as they think and want to suppress opposing points of view and the facts that would support those opposing points of view. How is this any different than teaching anti Americanism in a musulm country or propaganda from the days of nazi Germany.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  69. David Fry

    I haven't read the final version, but I did read one of the preliminary versions and this whole issue seems to be a little bit overblown. I have to laugh at this because in the public High School in Albany New York many of the classes, including Social Studies/History classes, with a disproportionate number of minority students aren't given any textbooks at all, even when the textbooks are distributed to the predominately white classes! I've tried to get a variety of organizations to address this issue, but the last I knew nothing has been done about it

    May 22, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  70. Janice

    As a Texas history teacher, but more importantly as a TEACHER, I long ago tossed textbooks as important, and I use them only peripherally. It is important to know your subject and , in fact, to discuss (argue) with your students different points of view. While I strongly disagree with the Texas SBOE, perhaps teachers can use this as a "teaching moment" since we appear stuck with it at least for a while.
    If the SBOE wants us to teach "expansionism" instead of "imperialism" - present to the students the definitions and facts and let them (the students) decide what it is! This obviously depends on teachers knowing their subject. Too often we are stuck with teachers who know nothing but what they themselves read in the textbook! And that is the saddest point of all.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  71. eric

    History is based on unequivocal facts, because these events have already transpired. Those events which are a deviation from the norm are usually highlighted, whether bad or good. It is a shame that Texas feels the truth is not to there liking.

    May 22, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  72. pursuit

    Lots of people have very strong opinions on this subject. I wonder how many of them have actually read the revisions. Do they even know what they are talking about? I cannot find the actual revissions and would really like to read them myself before I just spew unsubstantiated rants. Maybe our Eric Holder should do the same with the AZ immigration law. Just sayin'.

    May 22, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  73. Iris

    I am a Texas social studies teachers. Don't let the politicians tell you crap. We as TEACHERS had NO say in the change nor do we agree with it. Any petitions or rallies or emails were ignored. Most of the people who made this decision haven't set foot in a classroom since they attended themselves.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  74. William

    I am DEEPLY disgusted by the actions of the texass dep of education.
    I think we should give rich perry what he wants and let texass leave the union. GOOD RIDDANCE to the conservative texass swine

    May 22, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  75. Michael

    Amazing to me how the same people (the conservative right) who profess to be the great defenders of individual freedoms are allowed, by virtue of the influence of Texas in the textbook industry, to be the de facto dictators of what children all around the country will be force fed.

    The way around this, in this age of internet ubiquity, is for truly freedom respecting districts around the country to get rid of textbooks altogether. The use of hard copy texts should become a relic of the past – it would also potentially save schools and students a boatload of money to get rid of these paper and ink dinosaurs.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  76. Louis

    This country is ideologically divided as never before.
    This segregation is due to the desegregation of ethnicities due to the civil right movement.
    I guess this is the one of the unintended consequences on trying to perform social engineering instead of letting the natural course to take control.
    The lack of a uniform majority racial majority is bringing this country down since there is no longer the common thread to bring them together.
    The guilty whites are letting to the ethnicity advocates to take control and their cheer leaders saying that this diversity is good; the fact is that they are destroying the fabric of what the US was.
    That gives reasons to the moral relativists and sensitive advocates to speak out.
    These moral relativist are permeating every aspect of this society including the standards we use to teach our children.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  77. Ted

    Even the painful and embarrassing moments in our history have contributed to our culture, and like it or not, will forever be part of our country's history. It seems to me that to delete historical facts, events and people from the curriculum taught to our children simply ignores the forces that shaped the present, and will undoubtedly shape our future.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  78. Hans

    The fact that the changes are available for viewing is a good thing. A responsible teacher can show the students the changes in the textbooks and explain why the textbooks were changed. The censorship by the Texas Schoolboard allows teachers the opportunity to explain conservative biases. The Texas Schoolboard's attempts to censor educational material has backfired because now, instead of just teaching about the triangular slave trade, I am going to teach about the slave trade and point out that in the 21st century there are still people that attempt to downplay the horrific nature of slavery. Censoring educational texts gives educators the opportunity to expose conservative ignorance and bigotry that wouldn't have existed before they implemented the changes.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  79. Marshall

    I have lived in Austin, Texas my entire life and I have to say that I am appalled by what the school board has chosen to do. I participated in several of the protests around Austin and attended several meetings with the school board in the hopes of changing their minds; or at least trying to understand why they are forcing their opinions into the textbooks my future children may read. After listening to them attempt to rationalize the changes there is no doubt in my mind that it was done entirely for ideological reasons. I have traveled all around the country and never found a place I loved as much as Austin, but I fear I may not be able to raise, in good conscience, children in the state of Texas any longer.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  80. Mary Adler

    How will the changes in textbooks affect Texas students' abilities to pass the SAT, ACT, DANTES, and getting credit through CLEP for subjects like History and Social Studies? What does the American Council on Education think about these changes to the Texas education system? Will it give students in other states more advantage over Texas students when it comes to scoring higher and getting better placement in colleges or getting extra credit? Debate over conservative agendas is one thing. Getting denied the college of your choice or a chance at CLEPing extra credits due to a seemingly ignorant Texas Board of Education, whose members had equal education when they were in school, and denying it to future generations of Texas schoolchildren should be up for debate.
    Forgot the question marks in my previous submission. I would like some answers to these questions if CNN is game to ask the ACE.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  81. Emily

    We cannot sweep our past under the rug. We need to own what has happened in our country and learn from it. It disgusts me that we are just going to rewrite our history because some want to only show the positive to children. Sooner or later, everyone learns what the truth is. Texas is only undermining human beings. We go to school to learn even if the contexts is difficult.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  82. SixMileMike

    There's a BLACK MAN in the THE WHITE HOUSE!!!
    That's why Texas wants to WHITEWASH history.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  83. TJ

    Oh wow. I just looked up Don Mcleroy. He is a kook. He is a Creationist who believe that the Earth and the entire Universe are 6,000 years old. And he is in charge of educating the children in Texas???

    May 22, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  84. JOANNE

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS......THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH, IS THE TRUTH AND THAT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM ANYONE. WE DON'T NEED ANYTHING SUGAR COATED!!! HISTORY IS WHAT MAKES US WHO WE ARE TODAY SO WE SHOULD BE EDUCATED ON THE FACTS OF HISTORY, WE OWE OURSELVES AT LEAST THAT.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  85. Richard S Fetzik

    It is too bad that the Conservatives are trying to change history to help in their attempt to attract the Am-African vote. I was in teaching for 35 yrs and have never seen anything so bad. I also taught Ancient History in my early yrs and have said for many years now that WE, the USA, is going the same way as the Roman Empire went. WE are spreading ourselves out too far and minor factions will break up the country. Lies and false statements will take hold IF a strong correcting action is not taken. I will be passed on, Thank God, when the break-up comes.
    My children and grand-children will have to suffer(?) with so-called Christian Conservative decisions.

    May 22, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  86. Mary Adler

    Also, educators are constantly complaining that they barely have enough time to get students through current textbooks. Many educators already have problems with decididng which historical and social subjects do not merit as much study time as others in order to prepare students for the range of tests that are thrown their way every single school year that score the educators' abilities to teach and can make or break them in their jobs. Is it fair to the educators for the Texas Board of Education to be messing with their jobs in trying to eliminate subjects while educators need to get as many testable facts into the curriculum as possible? Will these changes end up costing Texas taxpayers more money by having educators make thousands of copies study material of testable subject matter that that students need to know, but the TBE left out of the textbooks? Is the TBE sticking it to the students, the educators, and taxpayers in an effort to appease their own political and religious agendas?

    May 22, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  87. Uonji

    It saddens me that this is happening in the nation that had the greatest potential to be great; I am doubting it right now, when ideas of this kind spring from backward minds that hold their pride in outdated mores and ideas, holding our attention, energy and efforts in destructive clashes of ideas instead of on engaging in activities that broaden our possibilities of becoming a nation of concensus and openness, integrity and quality of life. The future our children and what future generations of Americans deserve is in jeopardy. These people want to enslave the minds and keep their children in a coccoon of twisted un-realities. Re-writing history should not be permitted. Who are these people? How can this let happen? These currents of insanity, coming from the white conservative loonies are making us fall back to a state of new subliminal abuse perpetrated against their own children via the omission of factual based history. I would say they are in a phase of denial of the world, they are passive aggressive desperate beings that require power and validation to feel superior. These people are egotistical, brainwashed, close minded and removed form reality. They do not validate or respect anyone or anything that is not or looks, thinks and act like ”them“ , so... does that sound familiar? When in history did we see such things? It is obvious That this is the creation of ignorant, backward thinking minds, still rooted in a past they want to assert. They are not denying the past, they are behaving just like that past they want to erase from the textbooks, when injustice reigned, by erasing anything that portrays them under a bad light.

    May 22, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  88. James

    How can Texas change the History? thaking SALARORY from the American's civil war history books?
    What education is that?

    SLAVE LABOR IN THE LOWER SOUTH. The possibility of being "sold south" was no empty threat. Slaves in the lower South were often ill housed, ill fed, and ill cared for. It was more profitable to keep them at work on cotton than allow them time to build a decent shelter. It was more profitable to plant every inch of land in cotton than to allot space for growing foodstuffs. Even the little garden plots allowed slaves in the upper South were usually absent in Mississippi. That state, with some of the richest soil in American, was actually a net importer of foodstuffs before the Civil War.

    May 22, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  89. LaBonnie Copeland Allen

    5-22-2010

    As a child of the Civil Rights Movement in my hometown of Suffolk, Virginia (1966-1971), as one who returned to her hometown after completing most of her college course work to student teach under two (2) teachers at her former high school (1974), as a Social Studies' educator of 34 years who was forced into an early retirement (after 3 additional years of "off and on" work (2000-2003), as a result of political maneuvering (as her deceased father was told by a local school board member in 2000) after her students won state and national awards, and after her receipt of a national award in teaching in 2000 (the same year of the political maneuverings), as one who was acknowledged by her state's YMCA with an award in 1994 for her work with the Model General Assembly Program given to her by the governor of her state, and after a federal suit filed in U.S. District Court after an EEOC investigation in 2003 due to being unfairly released from contract and suspicions of political maneuverings from a former school system where she had worked for 16 years and 8 years in a school system before that, and as a former advisor for model programs pertaining to the Model Judiciary Program (Norfolk, Virginia) where in one year her students argued a case before the Virginia Supreme Court before real Supreme Court Justices, the Model United Nations Program (the College of William and Mary), as having served on textbook adoption committees, curriculum development committees, and as Social Studies Department Chairperson, with a Bachelor's and Master's Degree, and some hours beyond, etc., I AM APPALLED AT THE TEXAS TEXTBOOK CONTROVERSY because many teachers, especially in the area of Social Studies Education, either have been released unfairly from contracts, or persons of color not hired in the area of Social Studies Education because they teach about all ethnic aspects of the American culture (Indians, Women, Hispanics, Blacks, Whites, etc.); and there are, unfortunately, elements in our culture who don't want to hear or don't want their children to hear about the experiences of other ethnic groups in our culture. When a student hears about the struggles of his or her ethnicity, he or she gains, not only, a more clarified perception of his or her purpose or role in relation to these struggles, but he or she gains a broader perspective on how to mend differences (knowing the challenges that are unique to each ethic group). Students of color generally don't do well, overall, because they are not being taught their histories. Subcultures within the dominate culture are being historically indoctrinated to think one way from the dominate or most influential culture within our country or nation. In my Masters Degree Program (years ago), I did a paper entitled, "Historical Indoctrination". Why do you supposed our minority children also think that light is good and black or dark is bad?

    May 22, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  90. Steven M. Seaman

    Is it me or do the politicos not realize how many times the bible has been re-written? Most wars have been fought for religious reasons and the bible re-written for whatever king's bidding at that time. Get real Texas, you are going to war over a re-written text book, not a re-written bible.

    May 22, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  91. Disappointed

    TJ,

    Please review your introduction of Fredrica Whitfield this morning and never do that again. If you cannot keep the honor and dignity in your approach to your own African American peers, how can you expect to be respected yourself. That put a bad taste in the mouths of viewers who expect and even hope for much more than the low brow playing around that was demonstrated there. You can be light hearted without losing your classy touch. Keep it classy my dear.

    Regards

    May 22, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  92. Karen Green

    To Michael Armstrong Sr.

    You need to go back and learn how to spell. You should have used "their" not "there."

    "The NAACP dont make Texas law or write Texas history we dont cow to activist like the North does . "
    Here are some more corrections:

    The NAACP DOESN'T make Texas law or write Texas history we DON'T cow to ACTIVISTS like the North does .

    Mr. Armstrong Sr., do you know what an activist is?

    May 22, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  93. Karen Green

    Ms. Woodard,

    You should have proof read your posting. Don't you tell your students to do that before handing in work?

    May 22, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  94. Giovanna Darco

    "Googling oneself" is not just a "vanity issue" these days for job hunters seeking interviews – job hunters must confirm that nothing "negative" appears that will lessen or forfeit that opportunity to sit face to face with a potential employer.
    Even an error such as a wrong "birthdate" (too old or too young) can be detrimental – come on guys – internet "blips and bytes" are not respected for their accuracy, let's be real here.

    May 22, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  95. Charlie from West Virginia

    This is what happens when political views get involved in education, or just about anything else. It's the neverending conservative vs liberal fighting, that is slowly draining the life from this country.

    It has to change, virtually everything that is. If we fail to start replacing the conservatives and liberals with centrists/moderates, who are independent thinkers; everything will continue to degrade until the country falls to pieces.

    I hope that the three who identified themselves here as teachers; do not teach English.

    May 22, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  96. patti

    History is not meant to be revised, we should learn from history. If Texas textbooks are rewritten, this will only drive young minds to rearch for answers in other ways, such as by way of the internet. Finally, what are the " rewritters" of history afraid of in the truth?

    May 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  97. splashy

    So, now there is another reason to home school besides a religious one.

    Makes me think of the area where I live, where the right wing religious people have run things for a long time. It was my first experience with home schooling, done by the more liberal educated parents that didn't like the religious bias and corporal punishment doled out by the local schools.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  98. renee

    the rest of us should not follow texas's rewrite of history just for cheaper text books. feel sorry for the children who are subjected to that state's dumbed down education. please don't let all our kids suffer from the bad decisions of texas.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  99. TJ

    If there is ever any question as to what was meant by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, one need look no further than the Father of the Constitution himself, James Madison. Surely he knew what he meant by what he himself wrote:

    The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE. (Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819).

    To the Baptist Churches on Neal's Greek on Black Creek, North Carolina I have received, fellow-citizens, your address, approving my objection to the Bill containing a grant of public land to the Baptist Church at Salem Meeting House, Mississippi Territory. Having always regarded the practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both, and , I could not have *AS GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES* otherwise discharged my duty on the occasion which presented itself (Letter to Baptist Churches in North Carolina, June 3, 1811).

    May 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  100. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Sooner our later the white people and the black people are going to have to find a common denominator its like watching the Hat Fields and Mc Coy's why not just let history take its augly face at home and not in the class room's .

    May 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  101. Dan Fir

    I'm a student in a Texas highschool right now, and frankly the curriculum is already conservative enough. In Geography last six weeks we learned how "approving the obama healthcare plan makes us a worse democracy by taking away individual choice" and how "the US leadership should push for afghanistan and pakistan to be made into one country". This six weeks we had a test over why "the EU shouldn't accept Turkey". It bothers me when I have to answer with what they want to here instead of with agreed upon facts.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  102. Curtis

    There is only one reason these people want to reserect the reputations of cads like Je McCarthy; they want to imitate them.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  103. Ken Richardson

    The problem is political correctness on both sides__ my years as an educator saw leftist "PC" go to such ridiculous extremes that it prompted an "equal and opposite" reaction from the right. Balanced, moderate perspectives are what are not being represented in this argument, as usual. Both sides claim to hate to see education politicized, but both are doing exactly that.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  104. Christopher Mais

    Revisionism, as practiced under Stalin and indeed later in the USSR has raised its head in the USA. The Texas school board is trying to remove and to remodel historical facts to fit a, this time, right wing political agenda. This will not work, the facts are out therre, lying about them will only reflect on the people behind this particular revision-adjustment -of history.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  105. Paul Pearce

    I was educated in Texas by very truthful, enlightened teachers in public schools, college and graduate school. Unfortunately, partisan forces with ideological aims plan to take the Texas school system back to the dark ages. Let's just hope that there are enough intelligent teachers left in the system who will ignore the state and teach the truth in evolution, the wonderful separation of church and state and the human horror of slavery which still exists for some today. I left Texas 20 years ago, and am happy that my grandchildren will be educated with accurate textbooks in a civilized state of learning. Life is the search for truth, not hiding it under a rock.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  106. Joanne Stefano

    Taking the words "slave" and "slavery" out of our social studies and history books is tantamount to Iran denying the Holocaust. The truth is the truth is the truth, and American children need to be taught the true history of our country. Conservatives should not be allowed to sugar-coat American history to suit themselves.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  107. Smith in Oregon

    I hope this is the last dying grasp of the white supremest, racist, sexist politics as usual in Texas.

    In another decade the Hispanics will represent a very large voting block and many of these good ole boy's laws and Texas State bigoted statues will be throw out into the garbage can where they belong.

    Meanwhile, I suspect Apartheid Arizona will begin working on implementing anti-Hispanic criteria in their public school text books along with Texas inspired neo-con hero's such as the Confederate President Davis, Robert E Lee and others.

    Republican led States such as Texas, Arizona and Utah clearly want to move back to the segregated, racist, sexist, bigoted 1950's era in America which a great many American's and US States have long since moved past.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  108. Tf

    White folks are afraid that as non-whites become more and more educated, they will reciprocate the behaviors that they encountered in the past.

    Removing this only tells non-whites how important it is to perpetuate that history. It will still be taught in the homes and it will be taught with more hate than if it was taught in schools. Black folks will still teach their kids to not trust Crackers, which is how you all are called in the homes, unfortunately for non racists whites, more kids are going to grow up Educated in the Black fashion.

    You all really don't want that. History is history. We can't go forward unless we know where we came from. It will back fire on white people. How different is this from China censuring?

    I am black and now I have to teach my son the history and all I know about it is the bad white people hung the innocent black people and he has to be careful with anyone white.

    Black folks were brought from Africa, they lost their identity and 400 yrs later, they are still trying to figure out who they are, reflective by the number of unwed mothers, jail numbers, poverty. They do not know where they came from to know who they are. If you erase Civil Rights and Slavery... you send them back into oblivion, It is also reflective in Hispanic America.

    I say teach History, uncut, uncensured, we all will learn from that and move on. The Republicans are hypocrites; talk about moving the goal post. If a democrat wanted to change history, this would call him all the "isms" they can think about. Republicans, how about Hypocriticism.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  109. Sean

    I was once told that if you say nothing when an error occurs, than you have agreed with the error. There are some that don’t agree with the new vote to update the social studies books, reps like Agosto, Allen, Berlanga, Hardy, Knight, and Nunez, that I don’t agree with. It is a travesty to pervert the truth. Yes, even if it means to prove you wrong! We as a country are sick of deception, corrupt political agendas that encourage loose moral living, and destructive doctrine masked under the banner of “tolerance”. I would like it known that it is an embarrassment to my country to hide the TRUTH. There is no separation of church and state in the Constitution. READ IT FOR YOURSELF!

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    The phrase, “separation of church and state”, is by most people incorrectly thought of to be in the constitution. The phrase "wall of separation between the church and the state" was originally coined by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802. His purpose in this letter was to alleviate the fears of the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists, and so he told them that this wall had been erected to protect them. The metaphor was used exclusively to keep the state out of the church's business, not to keep the church out of the state's business. MY TAXES pays THIER SALARY! THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO REPRESENT ALL OF US! I WANT THE TRUTH IN MY SCHOOL NOT THIER OPINONS!

    I have served my country and my rights matter too!

    May 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  110. Andres

    We should probably start watering out lawns and gardens with gatorade.

    The tone of intolerance the conservative side of the aisle has managed to create with Arizona law, Texas change in curriculum which is perpetuated by the Palins and Rand Pauls of this society is very very alarming and dangerous and people need to wake up. Everything people have died and fought for before us will soon come to an end.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  111. Colleen Meegan

    There are several points I would like to make: First, let us all remember that ALL of HIStory was written by MEN who had conquered, MEN who had plundered and pillaged, MEN who had murdered, raped, and enslaved. Where is HERstory? The good news is that finally women and those who previously had been enslaved, mutilated, or subjected to The Holocaust have started writing their stories.

    Secondly, many of you whom have written your opinions apparently failed miserably your English grammar in school and perhaps should focus more on your English than your American history.

    Lastly, it would seem that racism is alive and well and living in the United States, not just Texas. Unfortunately, each ethnicity has ill will towards whatever ethnicity it chooses. Just because one is a member of the “minority” group, there is no free pass to be a bigot.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  112. Patricia

    The only time I can see when it is proper to rewrite a history book is when there are proven errors in the book. I don't think anyone can argue with the fact that there was a great injustice done to Africian Americans and Native Americans in this country. Changing the text books to water down the tragedy of it all doesn't change the fact that it all happened. It is time for everyone to stand up and say this autrocity occured and we can't change that. The only thing that we can do is to learn from our mistake and vow to not go down that route again. However, it does appear that it is happening again through the rich continuing to want to oppress the less fortunate.

    Isn't it time to work together to better things rather than again try to separate themselves as different from the rest of the nation. I have heard governor Perry state that he thinks Texas should secede from the United States That seems to be in line with the thinking. If you don't like something, just rewrite history to pretend that it never happened or secede.

    May 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  113. Tf

    What will happen when a child from Texas goes to a college in another state? Texas is putting our kids behind the power curve? Yes, our history is shameful but because of our history, we know we've come far.

    The night Barrack Obama won, I cried. I cried because it showed how far America has come. I can't understand why we are allowing the bitter, angry Republicans to do so much harm.

    The 66% -electorate, 55%- voters who voted for the President of the United States saw the new America. They read that history and they learned from it. Texas does not want all of us, whites, blacks, or other to see the strength in people like Barrack Obama.

    When BILL WHITE becomes the governor of TX this year, things will change.

    I hope all Texans who see how buck wild crazy this law is, Republicans, Democrats and Independents all vote for BILL WHITE for Governor of TX and tell the current Senate of No, State Government of No, the House of No and the whole party of No that we pay them to make good decisions for our kids and we do not care for their vindictive agenda. Let's vote them out!!!

    May 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  114. DEAN ALLEN JONES

    Has there ever been any actual agreement on the facts of history? Or on its rights and wrongs? Who decided that Alexander of Macedon and Julius Ceasar were "conquerers" but Ghengis Khan was a merely a mass murderer? Who decided to paint Idi Amin as the worse psychopath in Africa, while at the same time, allowing the mass killings and massive land thefts of people like King Leopold of Belguim, Cecil Rhodes, and scores of white colonizers and settlers slip into obscurity? What is the purpose of teaching history? To gain a genuine perspective of how the world got to where it is, or to give one an over inflated sense of pride in the omnipotence of American and Western power and ideas?

    The problem with conservative ideology is that its simplistic analysis of American and world history. Conservatives almost invariably define history as clash between two absolutes, one consisting of "good" Western cultures and peoples with perfect ideas and "bad" (inferior) non-Western cultures and peoples with "bad" ideas in which the "good" Westerners inevitably triumph. In order to make this premise credible, its proponents omit, eliminate, or trivialize ideas, situations or events which challenge or disprove their thesis. Worse, they also discount the real life experiences of individuals and groups of people which do not fit their favorite storyline, America the infallible.

    For example, Mexico had abolished chattel slavery before the United States did. Like most of the other slave states in the so-called "New World", it did so without having to fight a civil war. Not only did the "heroes" of the Alamos break Mexican law by bringing enslaved blacks into the the territory of Texas, the pro-slavery faction eventually brought Texas into the United States as a slave state. Texas seceded from the United States in order to retain its (state's) right to continue to enslave black people. During the Civil War, Texas units were notorious for torturing and murdering captured black Union soldiers. When Texas was brought back into the union after its forces were defeated. It became and remained an extreme Jim Crow state until well into the 1960's.

    One wonders how many of these facts will make it into the "history" books being churned out by the reactionaries in Texas, and, if they do, how they will manage to sugar coat them to avoid "creating resentment" towards the people that did those things and towards those who continue to lionize them in the present. One cannot help but to compare and to contrast the manner in which the European Holocaust is covered in American history and culture as opposed to how the atrocities against blacks and Indians in this hemisphere are presented. The European Holocaust is never justified and its victims are always victims, not co-conspirators in their own destruction. When it comes to American atrocities, a racial hierarchy always appears in which the lives of non whites are worth less so that what is a crime against humanity in Europe, suddenly becomes merely a series of unfortunate historical "accidents", or just the way nations do business when they are growing . There is always a justification made however subtly, for the slave trade, for genocide against Indians, and for Jim Crow.

    Perhaps if the people on the Texas Board of Education were more honest about their agenda, they would face less ridicule. Instead of calling what they plan to "teach" history, or social studies, or political science they should call it what it really is, indoctrination.

    May 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  115. Pat

    Texas Board of Education - Isn't that an oxymoron? I put these folks right up there with Focus on the Family. Who put these people in office?

    May 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  116. American

    Texas should not be able to change the quality of education for the rest of the USA. Personally, I have found the education system in Texas, to be inferior to some other states that I have resided in. All you have to do is talk to the children to learn this.

    May 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  117. L.G. Traynor

    The new textbooks that the Texas Board of Education has come up with are an abomination. They are quite deliberately rewriting history to promote their right-wing, conservative, racist, fundamentalist- Christian ideology. The United States has fallen in ranking in terms of education K-12 as compared to the rest of the world especially the rest of the advanced nations and the Conservative movement is certainly playing a part in our race to the bottom. The Texas Board of Education is only helping in our decline.

    We have excellent historians and scholars from internationally well-known and accredited universities such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, Brown, Columbia University, Berkeley, Northwestern University and others. American Nobel Prize winners in every category are coming out of institutions such as these; not Liberty University.

    Liberty University and other similar ones were created to promote the narrow-minded, factually one-sided, racist, militant, fundamentalist Christian, right -wing ideology that resembles and parallels the madrassas in Pakistan. They are masquerading as educational institutions but they are nothing more than a training ground for a militant, racist, extreme right-wing, Christian fundamentalist ideology with very clearly defined religious and political goals and agenda.

    It is not a "coincidence" that they have run for and taken over the Texas Board of Education. It is not a “coincidence” that they are a majority in the Arizona state legislature and that SB 1070 has come out of this body. It is not a “coincidence” that J.D. Hayworth is running for McCain’s senate seat in AZ. It is not a "coincidence” that Bob McDonnell ran for and is now the governor of VA. He obtained a Masters in Public Policy from Regent University whose slogan is “Christian Leadership to Change the World”. This is the same governor who recently promoted the celebration of the Confederacy and its leaders and “forgot” to mention slavery and the role it played in its history. Note how the Texas Board of Education also chose to eliminate the term “slavery and slave trade” and instead used a euphemism about “Atlantic Trade”. It is not a “coincidence” that Liberty University prohibits “interracial dating”. It is not a “coincidence” the Texas Board of Education eliminated such well-known historical figures as Thomas Jefferson (a Deist who promoted the separation of church and state), Cesar Chavez (a Hispanic who promoted fair wages and dignity for Hispanic migrant farm workers), Thurgood Marshall (an eminent Black judge who successfully fought for the rights of America’s most oppressed minority) and John F. Kennedy ( who fought to end state-sponsored racial discrimination and promoted equality for Blacks) dismissing them as “unimportant”. Yet instead, this board chose to include and give prominence to Phyliss Schlafly. Google these historical figures and determine for yourself if their achievements are “unimportant” and compare them to Phyliss Schlafy’s. If this isn’t “rewriting history” with a very specific racial-religious agenda, then I don’t know what is.

    Make no mistake, conservative fundamentalist Christians are a militant group with a clearly defined political agenda which seeks to impose their own understanding of Christianity and race on our government and its institutions. It is INTOLERANT of other religions including other mainline Christian churches such as Methodists, Lutherans, Church of Christ, Presbyterians and others. It is RACIST because it considers the white race as superior to the rest. It abhors interracial marriage and would bring back laws to prohibit it if given the chance.

    One of their main goals is to take over our government and our government institutions such as the Supreme Court, and our educational system so that these institutions will then reflect and abide by their interpretation of Christianity and the Bible. Expect to see them running for every political office that has the ability to shape our laws and our institutions at all levels of government throughout the country. This movement does not believe in democracy and equality for all. They WILL curtail the rights of many Americans if these rights don’t reflect their world view. Pay attention to what these Conservative elected officials are doing in Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and elsewhere.

    It is time for the rest of America to wake up and understand what is at stake. This is a politically militant, narrowly focused Christian group. What are you going to do to help shape the future of this country? Because if you don’t have any plans or ideas for it, they do.

    May 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  118. Sheila

    Agreed with NAACP prez this am–they want the tea party to teach our kids. This is not education its indoctrination – no place for it in our schools

    May 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  119. Renee

    Dear Texas: Please, please, please, secede! Also, please take Arizona and Sarah Palin with you.

    Mega-Sincerely,
    The "United" States of America

    May 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  120. Caschmit

    We complain about the polarization of political parties and ideology in this country but how can we when stuff like this is happening? Americans on all ends of the political spectrum should unite against this. This is why Washington is ineffective–the "us vs. them", "good guy vs. bad guy" perspective we push on our kids at a young age. It's a sad, sad thing when political parties start forcibly recruiting children when they are too young to understand that they are being brainwashed.

    May 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  121. maryann warren

    I write textbooks . . . and the major publishers make an edition ONLY FOR TEXAS! Everythng in that edition is NOT put into the Natioinal Edition. Pther states also have their own editions to meet their specific standards and "play up" their state history. So please don't panic people nationwide about good old Texas and their unique material in social studies. science, and even health. By the way, Don, I think you should permanetly replace Rick on Rick's List! You're way-y-y better!
    Maryann
    .

    May 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  122. Don Hoebeke

    The right wing conservatives in Texas are rapidly turning their state into a political "banana republic" and they should not and cannot be allowed to export their ignorance to rest of the United States.

    May 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  123. lisa K

    This is outrageous! Will our children soon be made to "Seig Heil" to the Christian Reich? Someone needs to stop this insanity.

    May 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  124. Nidia

    I am sad my comments were not included. What is your criteria? Was it because my made up name looked alien or what? This should be first in fIrst out , or FiFO .

    May 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  125. Pamela. Holt

    Foley,al wrong post, but being hi-jacked! Why did obama get so involved when coal mines blew up , and coal miners were killed, but when so many oil workers were killed during this bp oil fiasco, he hasn"t been so involved? After all , this is an invironmental disaster of mega proportion????

    May 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
  126. juan benavidez

    Supplements to the history books of Texas should be supplied along with a basic history book. For example, people who live bordering the southern portion of Texas with Mexico should receive a history supplement relating to that region. People who live in Dallas, for example, should receive a history supplement relating to that area. Or each school district should be allowed to receive as many different supplements as the districts deem appropriate. Texas is too big a state to be given ONE cookie cutter history book. I used to teach history to 7th and 8th graders and found very little information regarding the region where I was teaching. I used to teach that Cabaza de Vaca explored our area and that the conquistadores were searching for gold. Maybe they were or maybe they were spreading a civilized way of living. Of course, some will argue that the Spanish brought small pox that nearly wiped out the native indian population and brought other similar evils. In other words, history should be taught from several points of view to really educate our kids to learning about the human race with its good and bad choices that people sometimes make, so as not to repeat the same mistakes.

    May 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  127. Joel

    History is a subject best left to historians and scholars NOT politicians.

    May 23, 2010 at 5:32 am |
  128. Mary Jaques

    One thing I did was read was the changes that were proposed changes, and the one of the things that these additional people who were brought into balance the process were ignored. The words of the change were in different colors. They were ignored so to claim people were brought in were disingenous. The one thing that no one is mentioning is the cost. Yes the textbook business can customize their texts, BUT with school districts facing financial challenges how many can afford to order these customize texts. Most districts across the country will purchase these book and keep them for many years. As an educator I could tell you that study groups from districts can recommend non adoptions of these books only to be over ruled by school boards concerned about the economics of these decisions.

    May 23, 2010 at 5:32 am |
  129. Bryan S (Newfoundland)

    What is Texas going to do next? - start burning books like other dictatorships?

    May 23, 2010 at 5:32 am |
  130. Mike

    If liberals hadn't been corrupting our history books for the last 20 years this would not have happened! Now days Pochantas has as big of a role in US history as Abraham Lincoln. Why aren't we talking about how California has skewed our history books way to the left?

    May 23, 2010 at 5:33 am |
  131. Dennis L. Page

    This decision will only contribute to the continued divisiveness in this country. Facts are facts and history is history and politicians have NO business putting their mark/slant on what has really occurred to shape and mold our country. It is a sad time when religious zealots attempt to spin their doctrine onto the will of the masses.

    May 23, 2010 at 5:36 am |
  132. Jake

    Texas' textbooks are now as fair and balanced as Fox News. The right wing propaganda machine knows no bounds.

    May 23, 2010 at 5:36 am |
  133. john

    i would that us history was like cnn the "most trusted name". i am in north carolina home of the "lost colony" or so history says. robeson county is home to a group with ties to the lost. lets not hide anything. natives were not savages.

    May 23, 2010 at 5:41 am |
  134. Chi

    Dear Josh,
    The Texans change the untrue history in their Textbook. But they could not change the history what was already happened! The Conferderate never involved in Slavery Trades and they died in the honor of the Democracy. The injured soldiers were dead because they gave them vinegar(as the Roman soldiers gave The Lord Jesus Christ when He said, " I am thirsty!" But He did not drink.). And If slave said,"they have mercy on the Conferderate injured soldiers!" then where are the Conferdeate injured soldiers' children now?
    Chi
    CA

    May 23, 2010 at 6:36 am |
  135. Lynn

    If you think that Texas does not impact your child's education, think again. A handful of states with a statewide curriculum, drive what publishers will print and be available to smaller states and smaller districts. The courts have continued to support state-run education as a concession to the tenth amendment. What we need, and eventually happen, is a nationwide curriculum. When that day comes, you will wish you would have given your input.

    May 23, 2010 at 7:17 am |
  136. James

    In regards to Dean Allen Jones comments why didn't you inform everyone that during the time frame you ranted about from the civil war to the 1960's Texas was controlled by democrats and the abusive laws were pased by them, Yes I do agree lets but the facts into the history books.

    May 23, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  137. tommyb

    The scary thing is the textbook industry is dominated by a relative of the Bush's, and we all know how good they are at rewriting history to match their agenda.

    May 23, 2010 at 7:22 am |
  138. Joe

    Texas has wanted to be a separate country for a long time.I guess this is the start.

    May 23, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  139. Cam

    ilene...this might be petty but the United States of America is a Republic, not a Democracy, there is a difference

    May 23, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  140. frankie

    Having worked many years in typesetting and publishing (before my job got oursourced) I have felt that school textbook standards had slipped anyways because some major publishing houses didn't seem to have a managing editor anymore, the editing of text was being done by people only qualified to edit grammar, and in some cases shortcuts were taken even with such copy editing. I also believe that due to economics and particularly in today's difficult economy, it might be wishful thinking to believe that states could choose the best textbooks or order the pages they want, they will be stuck getting the cheapest textbooks. Maybe they'd be better off dealing with outdated textbooks rather than dealing with deliberately rewritten history.

    May 23, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  141. arjayt

    Most of the objections on the what other people learn appear to be based on a personal understanding of existence, which might only involve 'trivia' as far as human history is concerned. For instance, slavery is being treated as some racial negroid/caucasian process when in reality 'forced labor' is a sociobiological human trait that has been practiced by ALL human societies for the last 8000 years. It existed even before human beings learned to be literate about 6000 years ago and began moralizing about forced control of other people. Slavery still exists all over the world, even after it was recognized as a spiritual or moral wrong.
    Perhaps learning should involve cognitive mental exercises that let people think better since the American constitution's six covenants of Justice, Tranquility, Common Defense, General Welfare, Liberty and Posterity all require not only literacy but a sophisticated citizen awareness of society. Memorizing the trivial pursuit found in many text books isn't the same as learning about human processes, especially negative ones like totalitarianism, material aggression, even mental health. Even many colleges rely on memorizing details of this or that minimal human sequence rather than teaching something like an entire dynamic system like Justice or Liberty.

    May 23, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  142. Robert Reese

    Dear Josh: I recall a comment by historian Staughton Lynd: "...an abiding nostalgia for a south that never really was." There were many elements up to the Civil War, and in the ten years that followed. The ten years that followed: a civil rights tragedy for the United States, with he formation of the Pulaski Seven, in Tennessee.This was the first formation of the KKK. In any case, states rights is part of it, even now. Beyond slavery is a continued resentment and hatred of northern liberalism that, for 150 years, continues to try to impose its will on the south. It explains part of the Civil War then, and part of the extreme right, now. It explains the deaths in friendly old Neshoba County, MS in the
    1960's. History, yes: we have history of hate. It can always be located in speech about state's rights.

    May 23, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  143. Dennis Whitaker

    Hopefully now, the other states can put a halt to the liberal progressive indoctrination that has been taking place in our schools with revisionist history slanted to the left. Now, let's do it in our universities. College professors are 90% liberal!! Where is the diversity?

    May 23, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  144. Mark

    Most history is revisionist history, liberal or convervative we all shape history to fit our ideology. Texas has a right to do the same. Any conservative indoctrination Texas kids get would later be offset by the liberal/marxist views of most college professors when they go to college. It all works out.

    May 23, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  145. Mark

    We should just have another civil war to settle the culture wars for good.

    May 23, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  146. steve wisconsin

    Texas textbooks- Good to see Texas wants to put God back in our country. We have left God and endorsed an immoral agenda; homo-sex, abortion, and fetal stem cell research. Yes- our country was founded on God's word, the bible. The reason we were so blessed. Now it seems we are losing those blessings and getting the curses-lessings Deutoronmy 28-curses and blessings. Put God back in our country and get our blessings back.

    May 23, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  147. John Tyler Pennsylvania

    Texas by no means is a good cross section of American ethnic culture and religious beliefs. So you have the so called moral minority telling the majority of Americans what to teach. This is almost like suppressing the freedom of speech since we have to teach their beliefs throughout the rest of the USA.

    May 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  148. LIZ CARTER in Georgia

    @michelle, thankyou for your seemingly heartfelt and truthful comment on this TEXAS HISTORY BOOK ISSUE. I'd like to mention to the bloggers who are saying, 'what does it matter what the books say'? That our children can go online and use all of the new technology to study. HOW IS THAT EVEN RELEVANT, WHEN USUALLY THE INFORMATION THAT GOES ONLINE IS WHAT'S TAKEN FROM THE 'BOOKS'? The information put out online will be purged of the TRUTH. It's just another attempt to continue the DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICANS!

    May 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  149. Jamie

    Don't have time now to read the changes, will be doing that tonight. Changing history is impossible. I don't see how changing textbooks makes education better. Text material is not the problem! The problem with our education system is budgetary and teacher quality. We have to get rid of tenure. If you are a bad teacher, you should be fired. If I'm a bad employee, I get fired. Unions can be helpful but also destructive.

    May 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  150. Richard

    Thank you and CNN for reporting on this story. For quite some time I have been watching what is going on with the Texas State BOE with nothing short of horror. No matter how sincere these people are, I believe they have abused their office and squandered their opportunity to expand the horizons of Texas's young people with a quality education, instead choosing to cramp their minds with religious and political indoctrination. I believe that teachers and experts should have more power to shape public school curriculum. Board membership is an elective office, and there are no requirements for expertise in education or in the particular subject matter being taught. I believe that checks and balances should be put in place to ensure that the curriculum in our classes is designed by qualified people and not by zealots. Maybe more national standards would help to alleviate this situation.

    May 24, 2010 at 12:19 am |
  151. Russ Chandler

    The Afro-Centric community rewrites history every Feb. The illegal latino's rewrite laws to continue to loot the nations resources. Who cares if the information is taken out of the books, their will always be and has always been minorities that will never let us forget about slavery. Of course the white americans did not purchase 20,000,000 slaves, those latinos have dedcided to nail themseves to the cross and claim slavelike treatment. And the blacks still commit the majority of crime in the US. But let's over look that and get to the REAL issue, a book. This is why I stay away from CNN.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  152. deepwater don

    Does anyone remember Ronald Reagan and his moral majority?Gingrich,Falwell,Buchanan, and any number of congressmen running around saying religion and special religious agenda must be the law and ethiics of politics in America.Then the moral majority found they liked their jobs,big cars and all the toys they could get,forgot to go to their mega church and the moral majority evolved into the "charge it" subculture.Don't worry these idiots will fade after the novelty of the moment wears off and they see their spiritual leaders living in million dollar houses,driving seventy-thousand Escalades,and wearing thousand dollar suits. And their elected congressmen will abandon them when they get the taste of money and power od politics.

    May 24, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  153. Samuel

    Those intelligent children in Texas that can think in their own will eventually see this education curriculum for what it is, a right leaning propaganda that replaced liberal leaning propaganda of the past.

    The rest of the children in Texas, that are not capable of thought in their own, will eventually split and be told what and how to think by either the right or by the left; and they will be proud to repeat the slogans given to them by their intellectual superiors, while screaming I am Conservative or I am Liberal.

    This has always been the case in Texas and everywhere else.

    Let us all hope that the majority of children in Texas are in the intelligent group...

    May 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  154. DEAN ALLEN JONES

    For James and others who have and may accuse me of "ranting". By the way, I forgot to mention the origins of Juneteenth which hark back to the Texas slaveholders witholding the news of the Emancipation from their captives in order to keep exploiting them for another year or so. I also didn't get around to discussing Texas' track record on lynching.

    I made a series of statements about an important part of the real history of the state of Texas, namely, its sorry history when it comes to race relations. All of the historical facts that I mentioned are based upon reading and understanding primary sources. If you disagree with the accuracy or truthfulness of my statements, so be it. As for the Democrat/Republican party "split" that many of you seem to feel is so significant, I did not mention it because, in reality, when it came to creating and maintaining white supremacy and the policies of Jim Crow in Texas and elsewhere, one cannot really make the case that any political party in the United States was serious about protecting the human rights of black people between the end of Restruction in 1876 when Republicans sold blacks out to win a Presidential election, and the advent of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's when many southern Dixiecrats became outraged by change (progress), and then became Republicans. In reality, the so-called political parties are and always have been pretty much interchangeable, and American conservatism, no matter its party affliation, has largely been explicitly anti-black for since the founding of this nations.

    I am sorry if I rained upon anyone's simplistic and celebratory vision of Texas or American history. When I read about the history of other parts of the world, I read and learn about both the good and the bad because that gets one closer to the truth. I do the same thing with American history. If that process dents the myth of American moral superiority and exceptionalism, then so be it. That 's a dangerous delusion that we as a nation will need to discard someday anyway. By the way, anyone of you are free to refute my statements as long as you are able to use primary sources to do so.

    May 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  155. Tom Z

    I'm a proud Pastafarian, and you don't hear anyone from my church demanding textbooks to be changed to include our teachings. That's because we understand that good schools give kids valuable knowledge, and good parenting gives kids great morals.

    May 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm |