Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh, Texas

Thank god for the Texas school board. Here in New York we've all been up in arms about the fact that the state legislature didn't lift the charter cap and what's going to happen to our Race to the Top application. Out in Texas, they opted out of that whole Race to the Top thing a long time ago. Clearly. Instead, they're focusing on the important issues, like making sure that Commies don't appear in the classrooms - not even in book form. And even when they aren't actually pinkos.

In one of those too strange to be believed moments of educational reform greatness, the Texas school board removed Bill Martin Jr. (author of the Brown Bear, Brown Bear books) from the social studies curriculum list of individuals to be studied for their cultural contributions. The reason? He'd apparently written another work called Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation. Somehow I missed that one in the school library.

Turns out that not only was this a rather sharp turn in Mr. Martin's writerly MO, but he was also dead when he did it. Oops. Turns out Bill Martin isn't such a unique name after all.

And that's who's making educational policy in Texas these days.

I wrote a while back (and again here) about how things like this have to make you wonder about the efforts to install national standards. But I'm actually starting to re-think that position now. Remember, Texas with its huge textbook market in many ways sets the standards that are going to be reflected in textbooks used across the country. And you can see how they're using that clout. At this point, anything to take power away from Texas almost has to be seen as a good thing.

Also, so there's no doubt, I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the Communist Party.

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