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Author Topic: The War Between the States' Education Standards  (Read 2288 times)

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Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

The War Between the States' Education Standards
« on: May 18, 2010, 09:43:14 PM »
As I am sure many of you know, Texas has been attempting (and appears to be succeeding) to revise its education standards in very controversial ways. What you may not know, is that California has been gearing up to fight back with SB 1451.

Quote
(g) On March 12, 2010, the Texas Board of Education, which consists of 15 elected members statewide, voted to adopt revisions to their social studies curriculum for the 2010-11 school year (formally referred to as revisions to Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Chapter 113, Subchapters A-C, and Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Chapter 118, Subchapter A).

(h) Although not yet formally adopted, it is widely presumed that the proposed changes to Texas' social studies curriculum will have a national impact on textbook content since Texas is the second largest purchaser of textbooks in the United States, second only to California.

(i) As proposed, the revisions are a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings that are driven by an inappropriate ideological desire to influence academic content standards for children in public schools.

(j) The proposed changes in Texas, if adopted and subsequently reflected in textbooks nationwide, pose a serious threat to Sections 51204.5, 60040, 60041, 60043, and 60044 of the Education Code as well as a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California.
It will be interesting to see how this dispute between two of the largest textbook purchasers in the nation will play out, I just wish the (already tenuous) quality of American education weren't the stakes of this game.

Offline Archivist

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 10:54:25 PM »
Quote
As proposed, the revisions are a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings that are driven by an inappropriate ideological desire to influence academic content standards for children in public schools.

I'd be interested to know what exactly these "sharp departures" driven by an "inappropriate ideological desire" are. How nice of them to exclude them from the bill.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 11:19:11 PM »

Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 11:25:01 PM »
Oniya is, as always, on top of things ^_^ Thank you!

Offline Trouble

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2010, 12:01:45 AM »
Ok, what the fuck is this bullshittery? This is just insane. These people aren't trying to make a history book; they're trying to cram their own politics into a book and claim it's 'history'.

This passage in particular alarmed me:
Quote
There were no historians, sociologists or economists consulted at the meetings, though some members of the conservative bloc held themselves out as experts on certain topics.


If I'm reading a book, learning from a book, I want to be damn sure that the people in charge know what they are talking about. Otherwise, we might as well just turn back the clock and go back to the time when we thought that 'evil humors' caused disease.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2010, 12:18:02 AM »
I don't see the problem the board is elected so they are acting for the will of the majority in Texas. Same for California I assume.

Democracy in action and no one says states HAVE to buy textbooks following these guidelines from either supplier.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2010, 12:28:14 AM »
The potential problem (and with some of the new publishing technologies, it may not be as big an issue) is that Texas is one of the biggest buyers of textbooks.  If the textbook-sellers want to get the Texas market, then they are more inclined to put out a product that Texas schools will want to buy.  If California had gone the same way (and the bill they are introducing shows that they are not), then that would be an even bigger segment of the populace that the textbook-sellers would want to cater to.

An encouraging thing to note is that due to the electronic nature of publishing now, it is more feasible to tailor textbooks to a variety of standards, rather than just the highest bidder.  We just have to hope that having two major buyers with different standards will convince the publishers to take advantage of that ability.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2010, 01:10:09 AM »
“In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.
‘The topic of sociology tends to blame society for everything,’ Ms. Cargill said. “

So they want sociology to teach personal responsibility instead of focusing on social issues and the effects of society, which is the point of the field.  I’m glad those experts are on that board.

Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2010, 01:19:54 AM »
I don't see the problem the board is elected so they are acting for the will of the majority in Texas. Same for California I assume.

Democracy in action and no one says states HAVE to buy textbooks following these guidelines from either supplier.

Thankfully, facts do not change based on the will of a majority, something the Texas school board seems not to understand.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2010, 01:25:24 AM »
I don't see the problem the board is elected so they are acting for the will of the majority in Texas. Same for California I assume.

Democracy in action and no one says states HAVE to buy textbooks following these guidelines from either supplier.

So you agree with everything the government does because the officials are elected?

Offline Asuras

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2010, 02:45:36 AM »
Quote from: DarklingAlice
Thankfully, facts do not change based on the will of a majority, something the Texas school board seems not to understand.

At least as far as history goes they don't seem interested in inventing facts...just skewing them one way or another, which demands the question whether it's skew or not to mention the NRA in the last thirty years.

Offline BlisteredBlood

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2010, 04:03:34 AM »
You wanna talk about some BS in regards to the states' education systems? But if you look here in this article from the 24th of February, it said that the teachers in my old home town were fired only to then rehire them back.

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2010, 12:49:31 PM »
“In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.
‘The topic of sociology tends to blame society for everything,’ Ms. Cargill said. “

So they want sociology to teach personal responsibility instead of focusing on social issues and the effects of society, which is the point of the field.  I’m glad those experts are on that board.

Personally, I'm surprised that they're teaching sociology in high school, these days.  And while this is definitely an ass-backward method, high school students need to learn about personal responsibility.  Though with so many 'religious' and 'Christian' people in Texas, one would think that they're learning about it at home...

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2010, 01:06:35 PM »
So you agree with everything the government does because the officials are elected?

Its the will of the people they voted these folks in so yes its fine by me. They should vote more carefully. But since its TEXAS nothing shocks me on this. And lets be clear parents to me are the primary educators and schools are to ASSIST in that. So if something is left our or not the values of the parents of the child then they can always take the child to the library, internet sites or the like and teach them their viewpoints. So for me this is not an issue if parents and legal guardians would DO THEIR MORAL DUTY who cares what the state does save lazy parents and if that is the case the state can't be expected to do more than what the voters wanted.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2010, 04:47:41 PM »
I say let publishers just make a special California and Texas edition and sell the rest of us something nice and non-extremist. They can still get the market and if Texas is such an avid buyer along with California then making them pay a little more to make up the difference wouldn't hurt that much. (I know I have no real numbers but I know California and Texas are huge so it seems possible. We are talking a public school textbook.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2010, 05:03:01 PM »
I'm not entirely sure, but I think California is trying to make sure their textbooks stay more moderate.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2010, 05:10:18 PM »
I'm not entirely sure, but I think California is trying to make sure their textbooks stay more moderate.
I doubt that, but one of my brothers has a bad experience with California public education but mostly I'm a horribly jaded person when it comes to anything political.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2010, 06:01:37 PM »
As far as I can tell from the story, it is the case. California is doing this in response to the crowd in Texas.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2010, 06:05:49 PM »
As far as I can tell from the story, it is the case. California is doing this in response to the crowd in Texas.
That's how it always kind of starts. To quote my mom though, "I don't care who started it. You're both wrong for fighting about it!"

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2010, 06:21:48 PM »
Have you actually seen the political bias that the group in Texas is trying to implement? They're attempting to rewrite everything they can lay their hands on in line with a right wing Christian focused agenda. They don't care about impartiality. They want their version of everything in there.

Offline Sure

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2010, 07:06:08 PM »
It's a pick your bias sort of thing. Texas skews it conservative, California skews it liberal, and they both ruin it for anyone who isn't in agreement with them. Both have a negative influence on the education system, in my opinion.

Regardless, California is not being more moderate, though a certain kind of liberal might think so because California is moving more towards their beliefs. Similarly, a certain kind of conservative might not see as much of a problem with Texas's moves if they agree with the beliefs being implemented.

And California has pressured various national standards to fit with what they want before, as well, though not quite in this manner.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2010, 05:33:52 PM »
Have you actually seen the political bias that the group in Texas is trying to implement? They're attempting to rewrite everything they can lay their hands on in line with a right wing Christian focused agenda. They don't care about impartiality. They want their version of everything in there.
History is inevitably written by the victor. This is no different. Like Sure said it's pick your bias.

Offline Jude

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2010, 09:33:27 PM »
There are degrees of bias however.

To say that they're both equal without arguing the facts of the matter is simply ridiculous.

If you're right, then surely you can provide some sort of evidence that California is doing something on the scale of disappearing Thomas Jefferson because of his religious views?

Offline Sure

Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2010, 10:45:09 PM »
Well, firstly I can point out that I never said they were equal. You are setting up a strawman.

Secondly, declaring something I say ridiculous does not make it so. That is your opinion, perhaps, at most.

Thirdly, yes, there are degrees of bias. The degrees of bias are so biased in of themselves as to be a wholly subjective thing, however.

Now, then, I could very well provide the evidence if you would be so kind as to operationalize the scale to be used and we come to any form of agreement on said operationalization. Until then, however, nobody can prove anything about the matter of which state has done more or less damage, since you seem intent on comparing them.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: The War Between the States' Education Standards
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2010, 02:39:20 AM »
Everyone is going to be biased, simply by being who they are. A good academic though would try and limit their own bias, and attempt to present as neutral a work as possible.

This crowd are self admittedly working off a political agenda.