Yesterday The New York Times ran an article that I found deeply troublesome. At a public meeting about the state's social studies curriculum, Don McLeroy, an arch conservative, strong armed the board into passing a deeply flawed and partisan course of studies for Texas students. According to The Times (the emphasis in bold is mine):
McLeroy moved that Margaret Sanger, the birth-control pioneer, be included because she “and her followers promoted eugenics,” that language be inserted about Ronald Reagn's “leadership in restoring national confidence” following Jimmy Carter’s presidency and that students be instructed to “describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.” The injection of partisan politics into education went so far that at one point another Republican board member burst out in seemingly embarrassed exasperation, “Guys, you’re rewriting history now!” Nevertheless, most of McLeroy’s proposed amendments passed by a show of hands.
Finally, the board considered an amendment to require students to evaluate the contributions of significant Americans. The names proposed included Thurgood Marshall, Billy Graham, Newt Gingrich, William F. Buckley Jr., Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Edward Kennedy. All passed muster except Kennedy, who was voted down.
Scary stuff, I think.