Wall Street Journal: Is Texas Messing With History?
by Terri Leo on April 28, 2010 at 9:28 PM
Finally we have a reporter that actually read the "original document". You would think actually reading the document you are reporting on would be taught in Journalism 101, especially in light of the fact that it is the journalism community that continually advocates for their readers to do so.
By DAVID UPHAM
For several months, the elected members of the Lone Star State's board of education have considered extensive revisions to the state's K-12 social studies curriculum. After months of efforts, the board's conservative majority tentatively approved a new curriculum in March, and on April 15 the board published its proposal, which it may adopt after allowing 30 days for public comment.
The comment has been vocal. Critics in Texas and across the nation have decried the changes as educational malpractice, with news reports characterizing them as "historically inaccurate" and reflecting "far right" bias. The board allegedly expunged Thomas Jefferson, minimized constitutional safeguards for religious freedom, and ignored the struggles of women and minorities for civil rights. A letter signed by several historians at the Universities of Texas at Austin and El Paso claimed the board "undermined the study of the social sciences in our public schools by misrepresenting and even distorting the historical record." Newsweek ridiculed the "Texas Curriculum Massacre."
Despite the allegations, however, no one has pointed to a particular significant error of fact. My own review of the proposed curriculum did not reveal anything plainly false, and the oft-repeated accusations of outrageous omission are demonstrably false. The board did not excise Thomas Jefferson, downplay constitutional religious freedom, or minimize the role of women and minorities. On the contrary, the curriculum is replete with specific references to Jefferson, religious freedom, the civil rights movement, and the achievements and struggles of women and minorities.