The Textbooks of Texas | Teen Ink

The Textbooks of Texas

May 6, 2010
By the_Horsegirl SILVER, Minneapolis, Minnesota
the_Horsegirl SILVER, Minneapolis, Minnesota
8 articles 0 photos 118 comments

Favorite Quote:
People need dreams, there's as much nourishment in 'em as food.
--Dorothy Gilman

If there is such a thing as truth, it is as intricate and hidden as a crown of feathers.
--Isaac Bashevis Singer

“This critical thinking stuff is gobbledygook,” David Bradley, a member of the Texas school board said to a reporter, as an explanation of the board’s actions. This month the Texas school board decided on many revisions to the elementary, middle and high school social studies textbooks, which will be put to a final vote in May. Among the proposed changes, textbooks emphasize the leadership of Republican figures such as Ronald Reagan and downplay the idea of separation of church and state. Students will study the violent philosophies of the Black Panthers during the civil rights movement alongside the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and learn less about Hispanic and Native Americans role models. Some see the people behind these moves as ignorant Conservatives who want to pervert history to bend to their own political agendas. The truth is, these changes are justified attempts to look at history in a balanced way. The revisions are fair, long-needed, and always unbiased.
First, the changes are fair and encompass many different viewpoints. One hotly contested revision to the social studies curriculum is that no longer is it taken for granted that the Founding Fathers made this country with a purely secular society in mind. Some liberals point to the First Amendment, saying that since it states that “...Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” this must mean that the Founding Fathers did not intend to create a Christian nation; they argue that the changes are prejudiced towards Christians. The board, however, is not trying to push religion on anyone. Rather, they are simply trying to tell the unbiased, fair, truth: The Founding Fathers built this country on Christian principles. Clearly, America is currently a Christian nation. Indeed, over half of Texans say that their spiritual beliefs are very important to them, and nearly 40% agree that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago, as the bible says. Therefore, the revisions, even those regarding the religious nature of this country’s founding, are fair to everyone.
Next, these revisions are overdue. For too long, impressionable children have been taught to look up to un-American, immoral and completely undeserving historical figures, like Cesar Chavez, who organized labor unions, and Thomas Jefferson, who coined the term “separation of church and state.” (Luckily, those two have now been taken out of the textbooks.) Now our children can learn about important people such as Christian philosophers of the eighteenth century, and Phyllis Schlafly. When children are young, their minds are easily molded, and for too long liberals have been taking advantage of this to brainwash kids into believing their secular, socialist ideas. Finally, our vulnerable, innocent children are getting the good educations they deserve.
Lastly, the changes made are made in an attempt to create balance in textbooks where liberals have assumed a position of omnipotence. The new curriculums do not aver that conservative Republicans are always right, but that they should get some credit to offset the liberal slant that prevails in textbooks across the country. For an example, a new part of the curriculum has children learning about how Republicans supported civil rights laws and how the “free-enterprise system” (which is how “capitalism” is now referred to, due to negative connotations it is thought to carry) carried the day in such diverse settings as the Industrial Revolution and in Europe's Commercial Revolution. All Conservatives want is for their voices to be heard and listened to. The new changes in the textbooks are even-handed, and made only to give children a well-rounded education.
The amendments made to the Texas social studies curriculum are perfectly justified and balanced. The revisions are essential to a solid educational system for school age children. Though the world changes quickly, some things always stay the same, like the fact that kids need to be prepared for the world. Like the fact that America was founded on certain, self-evident religious and political truths. Like the fact that in a democracy, everyone needs to be fairly represented. As a country, America must make sure that these facts are upheld.

The author's comments:
I wrote this paper for a class at school where we had to write a persuasive paper with 3 arguments...and 2 of them had to be illogical, and use a fallacy.
See if you can figure out which arguments are the illogical ones, and which is the logical one!

(In case you don't get it, this paper is meant to be a joke)

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This article has 3 comments.

KatsK DIAMOND said...
on May. 20 2012 at 3:16 pm
KatsK DIAMOND, Saint Paul, Minnesota
57 articles 0 photos 301 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.
~Hans Hofmann
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

This is really funny, as well as believable. 

on Oct. 1 2010 at 10:35 am
Imaginedangerous PLATINUM, Riverton, Utah
31 articles 0 photos 402 comments

It's a good thing you mentioned that it wasn't supposed to be serious in your author's comments, because you had me fooled for a little while. Those actually sound like an argument that they'd try to make. grrr... the Texas School Board needs relected, if you ask me.

(Not that you did... :D)

Sterling said...
on May. 21 2010 at 10:01 am
This would be hilarious if it weren't so close to the truth.  Excellent satire.