Saturday, July 25, 2009
The United Farm Workers have a new action alert (7/24/09) about "an education war going on in Texas" they note has "major national implications as Texas is such a major purchaser of textbooks and their state’s required curriculum drives the content of textbooks produced nationwide."
Specifically, "the Texas State Board of Education is currently preparing to adopt new social studies curriculum standards" informed by certain "experts" who:
Are arguing that the state’s social studies and history textbooks are giving "too much attention" to some of the most prominent civil rights leaders in U.S. History, namely Cesar Chávez and Thurgood Marshall.To the UFW, complaints of an "over-representation of minorities" are particularly "ironic in light of the changing demographics of our country"--where, "sadly, Latino and African-American children have the highest drop-out rates in the country."...(Remainder.)
David Barton, one of these "experts," claimed Cesar Chávez "lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others." Another of these "experts" evangelical minister Peter Marshall said, "To have Cesar Chávez listed next to Ben Franklin"--as in the current standards--"is ludicrous." He went on to say Chávez is not a role model who "ought to be held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation."
The same "expert" wants to eliminate Thurgood Marshall, a prominent civil rights leader who argued the landmark case that resulted in school desegregation and was the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court justice. He wrote that the late justice is "not a strong enough example" of an important historical figure to be presented to Texas students.