board of “education”?

Here’s a great example of claims and evidence from a watchdog group, critical of the State Board of Education, which i mentioned in class today.  Ask yourself whether the claim(s) of anti-Christian bias are sufficiently debunked.  Excellent exchange of comments below by the way on the Ole Miss post. 

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3 Responses to “board of “education”?”

  1. Megan Strickalnd Says:

    I believe this is honestly a result of TAKS testing. Because the state of Texas is so limited in its emphasis on anything other than a few main historical topics which include, Revolutionary War topics, Civil War topics, World War I and II, The Great Depression, The Civil Rights Movement, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, students are not being taught about anything else. For goodness sakes, they aren’t even being taught what really happened. The differences between a high school history class in Texas and a collegiate one is stark. Often students find that the simplistic ideas they were taught in high school (“The Revolutionary War was because of taxes; The Civil War was because of slavery”) are much more complicated. I’ve had to learn entire concepts over because I was trained to mark “taxation without representation” without a second thought.
    If the state board dropped the TAKS testing methods (which I believe it is scheduled to) and began to use the College Board’s testing guidelines then they would be less tempted to rewrite history, I think.
    Because the state has so much clout in what goes on these important exams, teachers are less likely to take initiative on their own to teach history as it really happened. After all, if you are judged on the test results of 11th graders, you are going to make sure they pass the test!
    If the state board got rid of standardized testing and let history teachers do what they do best, then obviously the real history would come out. Instead of making sure that students mark Thomas Paine as the author of Common Sense for the hundreth time wouldn’t teachers prefer to talk about Ceasar Chavez or Sybil Luddington?
    While I realize this debate is over text books, I believe it stems from the standardized testing movement. Education is being turned into training sessions to pick the right letter, rather than to understand COMPREHENSIVELY historical concepts.
    As long as the state board continues to perpetuate the same 58 questions involving the same 58 people on the test, book companies who do not cater to the few privileged people mentioned in the test will not be successful.

    • Olivia Wiley Says:

      Megan, I completely agree with you. History was always my favorite subject in high school and it carried all the way into college. I even got A’s in both semesters!

      However, the difference between the two levels was very distinct. I loved my college classes more because I was taught so many different view point and theories. For once, was allowed to think critically for myself! It seemed as if I was being “spoon-fed” facts in high school and made to believe that what was taught, was all that was known.

      You’ve made some excellent points! Have you read the article, “Scientifically Tested Kids” in the op-ed section of the NY Times? It’s an awesome article for this very same subject!

  2. Megan Strickland Says:

    Thanks Olivia for the reference! I’ll definitely (sp?) check it out!

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