The ayes of Texas

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Americans everywhere should applaud the Texas Board of Education action to reconstitute a more historically accurate (read: open and balance) traditional stamp on school curriculum taught in the Lone Star State.

While that should be good news for all, unfortunately, for some, it is not.

That’s because as the second largest buyer of school textbooks Texas has substantial influence on what content publishers include in study text.

The Texas decision is bad news for naysayers who, apparently, prefer to perpetuate an education curriculum that, for years, has been hobbled by incomplete information. And, many add, since the early ’60s, compromised by skewed interpretation and presentation via indoctrination orthodoxy.

That reality got the attention of the Texas Board of Education. Two-thirds of its members demonstrated they get it. That they understand, left unchecked, public education will continue to slide. And, if not an abject failure now—eventually. If not failure everywhere—in most locales.

So they voted to take remedial action.

That’s good news for all citizens and especially parents who want their children to be taught subject content compiled with fact-based information; and, presented unfettered by political slant, fact omission, or outright lies.

The board strategy was not to cut liberal progressive favorites from the curriculum. Rather, they opted to expand the breath of curricula by including more fact-rooted information and perspective. That provides students with the opportunity to learn more by studying others previously excluded from curriculum controlled by entrenched educational bureaucrats.

As a result, new history and economics textbooks will add two champions of free-market economic theory: Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek. They will join—not supplant—the usual list of economists to be studied, like Adam Smith, communist Karl Marx and the liberal-labeled progressive John Maynard Keynes.

Another revision in economics text: replace the word “capitalism” with the more accurate descriptor: “free-enterprise system.”

In addition, the Texas board approved scores of other amendments in order to improve accuracy and completeness in several other subjects.

Here are a few examples in American history and sociology:

To counter the idea, conveyed by limited coverage in current schoolbook text, that the internment of individuals of Japanese decent during World War II was motivated by racism, the Texas board directed that new textbook content be expanded to accurately point out that Germans and Italians as well as Japanese were interned in the United States during that war.

The Texas board was right to also go after another bit of historic folklore that leftists continue to use in order to perpetuate a conditioning message.

They took note of the limited scope of information in school textbooks about the history of McCarthyism; and, directed that new textbooks include “how the later release of the Venona Project transcripts confirmed McCarthy suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. Government.” Readers, and indeed teachers, who want thorough insight and understanding about the McCarthy era should read renowned journalist M. Stanton Evans’ investigative masterpiece “Blacklisted by History.”

In sociology, the Texas board directed that teaching include “the importance of personal responsibility”; and, that personal responsibility be included in a textbook section on life choices, behavior, dating, sexuality, drug use and even as a factor in eating disorders.

After the 10-5 vote, board member Mary Helen Berlanga accused fellow members of the Board of Education of “rewriting history.” Colleague Mavis Knight added, “The social conservatives have perverted accurate history to fulfill their own agenda.”

Those two obvious spin statements aside, again, Americans everywhere should applaud the action taken by the majority on the Texas School Board. As a result, curriculum in Texas, and potentially in your state, will be strengthened.

What a concept Texas discovered: Curriculum changes based on fact and truth.

If the Texas School Board did not, the real perversion would continue; skewing American history and shaping thought to fit an education mold that—while publicly stamped as progressive—is, in fact, regressive; and, arguably, may have been designed to deceive and mislead young Americans.

Richard Olivastro is president of Olivastro Communications—www.olivastro.com, a professional member of the National Speakers Association, and founder of Citizens For Change (www.CFC.us). He can be reached via email: RichOlivastro@gmail.com or telephone: 877.RichSpeaks.