20 May 2010

The Texas Schoolbook Massacre - Two Key Players

Part Two: Players in The Texas Schoolbook Massacre:

Cynthia Dunbar, SBOE member and author of One Nation Under God, in which she argues that the governance of the United States should be based on scripture.  And, if you're interested in a "completely whacked out resident of the wing-nut lunatic fringe" litmus test, she has opined that President Obama supports terrorism, and that public schools are nests of perversion, and maybe Senator Joe McCarthy's anti-communist witch-hunt of the 1950s was justified.

If that's not enough to gag a maggot, consider this from Wikipedia:.

"As a sitting member of the Texas State Board of Education, in March of 2010, Dunbar proposed and won ratification of a number of modifications to Texas K-12 social studies curriculum, notably the removal of Thomas Jefferson and mention of the Age of Enlightenment (in which reason was advocated as the primary source and legitimacy for authority)...

...According to an article in The Guardian , there are a number of changes such as these :
  • ...sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war.
  • Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favor of examining scientific advances through military technology.
  • One curriculum amendment describes the civil rights movement as creating "unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes" among minorities.
  • ...drop[ping] references to the slave trade in favor of calling it the more innocuous "Atlantic triangular trade"
Dunbar says these are important steps to overturning what she believes is the myth of a separation between church and state in the US."

Dunbar's key henchman and co-conspirator is a fellow  who alleges his name is Ken Mercer and who allegedly holds some sort of degree from somewhere that is reported, mostly by him, to be in the science of biology.  I use the word allegedly advisedly since Mercer's abilities to prevaricate, hyperbolate,  and confabulate have earned him a "barely truthful" ranking from Texas Fact Check.

His agenda is relentlessly and carelessly anti-evolution, "Evolution can't be factual because there has never evolved a dog-cat".  Yeah? I want to shout, how do you account for the Duck-Billed Platypus?  Or my mother-in-law, huh?  How about that?

A quick Google search will take you to a number of websites, blogs and articles which parse, dismantle and disprove his ridiculously puerile pronouncements.  His mantra is "faith, freedom, family", and that he is "out to give teachers a well-deserved spanking"!

Now, take a breath (maybe a stiff drink would be better) and consider this. Does anything in the profile of either of these two nattering nabobs give you any reason to think they are better qualified than trained educators to decide curriculum?

The focus should be to prepare kids for the future and boards of education ought not micromanage that process, but should support critical thinking, problem solving, and research skills to prepare our school children for higher education and competition in the world jobs market.

Instead the focus of these people is the denigration of teachers and destruction of teacher's unions and the imposition of an anti-intellectual conservative agenda the K - 12 educational process.

Now, we are at the points of what can be done to combat the insanity.  After all, anyone can point out the problems, but what we need are people who can fix them.

Coming Tomorrow:  The push-back and the people out to unseat and change the make-up and agenda of the Texas State Board of Education.

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