I have always been a firm believer in the thought that history is extremely important to the future. I believe that the axiom of “if we fail to remember history, we are doomed to repeat it.” I further believed that all of the “reforms” that are being introduced to “improve” public education was simply a money scam to enrich corporations. While that is partially true, there is a more insidious element to these so-called reforms.
I am not just talking about programs like “no child left behind” or “race to the top” either. Some of the so-called reformers are truly just trying to line their pockets with tax money. Others are more quietly trying to distort education into more of a propaganda machine. After all, the easiest way to ensure the survivability of your ideas, even if they have failed miserably, is to indoctrinate children in school. Forget the facts, just each what you want taught so future generations believe your ideas.
We have seen this type of indoctrination in the world before. Both history and science were radically changed in Germany in the 30s to prove the superiority of the Arian Race. In communist countries like Russia and China, indoctrination was the name of the game. They did not teach capitalism in schools. To them, capitalism was evil and they were going to make sure their children hated it as much as they did. In every case, this indoctrination worked. At least until their governments fell.
Here in the U.S. we are facing the same problems. The trouble is that no one is really paying attention to the indoctrination that is being forced on our children. In this case, the guilty parties are political activists not necessarily the government. Yes, it is only possible in states where these activists gain enough political power to get their idiots elected to office.
The major contributor and therefore the major usurper of education is currently the State of Texas. That is because of its size, if they approve a certain text-book, that is usually the only one offered by publishers to other states. Which means that regardless of where you live, your children are potentially exposed to their indoctrination propaganda.
The main culprits in this movement is a combination of right-wing conservatives and the Conservative Christian Cult. We have all seen the arguments over creationism being taught as legitimate science. But, that is just the beginning of their plot. They have gone way beyond the idea of creationism.
Texas has tried to change text books in history and other academia by inserting what is basically been called lies and disinformation. A group of 10 scholars in politics and history examined these text books and concluded that they are intended to trick students into believing right-wing myths about government, racism and whether or not America is supposed to be a “Christian nation.”
Despite the fact that the founding fathers founded our country based on “Enlightenment” or philosophical ideals, these text books are trying to make children believe that it was founded on Christian doctrine. They even go so far as saying that the founders drew inspiration from Moses, on the grounds that Moses created the idea of a “written code of behavior.” This despite that Thomas Jefferson argued that there should be a “wall of separation between church and state.” And the fact that civilizations believed in codified behavior long before Moses was even born.
Texas schools push sex “education” that rarely even mentions contraception. As a predictable result, Texas maintains an abysmally high teen pregnancy rate while teen pregnancy rates in other states are dropping.
On top of this, they even try to argue that segregation was really okay. One book argues that white and black schools had “similar buildings, buses, and teachers,” which the researchers argue “severely understates the tremendous and widespread disadvantages of African-American schools.”
Of course, they also found a whole lot of propaganda supporting unregulated capitalism. One book argues that taxes have gone up since 1927, but that “society does not appear to any more civilized today than it was” back then. Of course things like the federal highway system, reduced poverty and sickness, and improved education aren’t mentioned as making “society more civilized.” Imagine that!
So, what do some of the people who reviewed these text books really think? Emile Lester, a political science associate professor at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, was one of the reviewers. The State Board of Education and “these textbooks have collaborated to make students’ knowledge of American history a casualty of the culture wars,” he writes in his report.
Edward Countryman, a professor of history at Southern Methodist University who also worked on the report, concurred, accusing the State Board of creating textbook standards that have a “combination of incoherence, poor construction, and attempted indoctrination” in lieu of actual intent to educate students.
The Texas State Board of Education made it very clear that they intended to push right-wing ideology on the students from the very beginning. In July, the Texas Freedom Network reviewed the 140 people selected to be on the panels reviewing textbooks. Surprise, being an actual expert in politics or history guaranteed you couldn’t get a spot ont he board. More than a dozen Texas academics with expertise who applied were denied. Yet conservative political activists and individuals without social studies degrees or teaching experience got places on the panels.
Only three of the current 140 members of the panel are even current faculty members at Texas universities. Yet, a pastor who once owned a car dealership somehow got a spot. So, 140 people in Texas seems to have a large sway of what is put into textbooks, even in your state, and only three have the credentials usually needed for such work.
Before you think that this is no big deal, remember your history. Propaganda and indoctrination are things that made Germany, Russia, China, and many other dictatorships last longer than they should have. If you can get to the children, you can control the future. The Constitution and actual freedom don’t mean anything to these people. They are only interested in making sure their failed ideas continue to resonate in the national dialogue.
I strongly urge all parents to read the text books your children are using in the classroom. If you don’t, you won’t even know that your child is being indoctrinated into a belief system whether you agree with it or not. In every case in history, that was the beginning and the reason many dictatorships endured. Although the Cult is more interested in forming a theocracy, a theocracy is a form of dictatorship. As some have already shown in history, it is easy to do. All you need do is rewrite history and ignore true science.