A Texas “education”?

I haven’t been saying much about current events lately, but there’s a question I just have to ask. Experts have been commenting about how the new curriculum standards out of Texas are likely to influence other states as well, due to the very large number of textbooks purchased by Texas schools. The question I have to ask is what the heck are they doing with all those books?

 
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Posted in Current Events, Education, Society. 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “A Texas “education”?”

  1. Chigliakus Says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population

    I assume they’re giving them to kids. Texas is the 2nd most populous state after California.

  2. Deacon Duncan Says:

    Yeah, but I mean, is anybody down there actually reading what’s in the textbooks? Or is Texas just where perfectly good textbooks go to die?

  3. Chris H. Says:

    I have another question:

    All attacks and politics aside, is the quality of education received by students in Texas significantly lower than other places? I keep hearing people’s commenting along those lines.

  4. Chigliakus Says:

    Haha, okay Duncan I did sort of miss your point. I’m surprised and disappointed that more Texans don’t see the current Texas board of education as a disgrace and an embarrassment to the state. Politics have been bad in Texas for a long time now — the last competent governor was Ann Richards, replaced by Dubya after a single term(!) — but as the national political outlook improved Texas got even worse.

    Being a resident of the state in question, I have witnessed firsthand the rapid descent into lunacy of the middle-aged white middle class population post-election 2008. I knew we had more than our fair share of the willfully ignorant, but the conversations you overhear these days in public places and at work are very disturbing to those of us who value a reality-based view of the world. I’ve argued face-to-face with people who think Obama is a Muslim socialist immigrant! There is a populist rage brewing, and yet somehow it’s blind to its own manipulation by corporate interests and has picked some pretty strange scapegoats to blame the countries current problems on.

  5. Tacroy Says:

    There is a populist rage brewing, and yet somehow it’s blind to its own manipulation by corporate interests and has picked some pretty strange scapegoats to blame the countries current problems on.

    It’s really weird – I’m seeing what can only be side-effects of that here in California, too.

    You get these really odd commercials about “vote yes on this to keep those politicians from doing something bad!” or “vote for me, the other guy is a politician”.

    It’s almost like the word “politician” has become some sort of epithet, and we’re all supposed to turn off our irony filters – wouldn’t the people putting those ads out be, themselves, politicians? – and vote for the other guy.

    I mean, normally political ads are incredibly stupid, but this is a whole new level – political ads that implicitly deny that they are political, despite the abundant evidence to the contrary. It makes my head hurt to think that there might actually be people who are so un-self-aware that they fall for this sort of thing.

  6. EdW Says:

    In short, yes, we read the textbooks. But are they internalized? The actual content of the books are reduced to lists of facts — motivated students learn the dates and names, but none of the “flavor” of the book is absorbed by much of anyone. From what I’ve seen, most of the changes being made to the standards are “flavor” — changes in tone and diction that students pretty much ignore anyways.

    I’ve been in the Texas education system my entire life, and I can tell you firsthand that it’s broken — We are even mandated in our state constitution to maintain education at a *minimum* of expenditure.

    Bill White of my own hometown of Houston is running for Gov, maybe he can do some good.

    Just so you know, though… There are some bastions of freethought and reason even in Texas. I may be a gun-totin, whiskey-drinkin, damn-them-all Texan, but I’m a secular humanist, and there are a lot of us out here.

  7. Deacon Duncan Says:

    Chigliakus and EdW, my hat is off to you guys, and to all the freethinkers in Texas. May your numbers grow and your efforts prosper.

  8. Chigliakus Says:

    All attacks and politics aside, is the quality of education received by students in Texas significantly lower than other places? I keep hearing people’s commenting along those lines.

    It depends a lot on where in Texas we’re talking about. In Dallas if you care about your child’s education you can send them to one of the excellent magnet schools. These are public schools in the district that offer Montessori style education at the younger grades, and the equivalent of a private college prep school at the high school level.

    In rural areas and some of the smaller cities your choices may be more limited and there are some parts of the state that do extremely poorly by just about any metric.