Monday, January 25, 2010

Officials need to research before action

A deceased children's author may not appear in a third grade social studies reading list in Texas. Apparently, the Texas State Board of Education took steps to eliminate books written by Bill Martin Jr. from the curriculum. Why?

A board member thought Martin wrote a book that contains "very strong critiques of capitalism and the American system." Articles about the action were published all over Texas. The story made me ask, "Say what?" as the facts unfolded in black and white (I read the article initially the old fashioned way — in the local newspaper.)

The board members apparently got the deceased children's author of the Brown Bear series and a children's book on how to say the Pledge of Allegiance confused with a philosophy professor's book Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.

In the news articles, there is a bit of back-and-forth among board members on the issue. One said she received "research" from another member about Martin. The original sender claims she did not research the issue. I think everyone can agree that no one really researched the issue.

The board members contend their intent is to pare down the list of books eligible for state curriculum standards. While it's a tough task, board members need to take their work more seriously and really research the books to be on the list.

I have a crazy idea. Board members could talk to the educators who recommended the books for the curriculum and choose books based on the merits of the selected selected. The board probably has good intentions, but it isn't showing so far. Hopefully, they will do more research before the final vote in May.

1 comment:

  1. I am totally boggled by what goes on at committee meetings, especially ones that have to do with anything political. And a committee on education is indeed a political committee. It's not just in TX, but every state. In Texas, they have meetings where citizens can come and voice their opinions, but the members of the committees either have their minds already made up or they hear only those they want to listen to. This is true everywhere. Sane citizens sit and scratch their heads and mumble, this is crazy.

    Straight From Hel


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