There has been a lot of diskussions about Texas textbooks, or Texbooks, as we members of the State Board of Education, or SBOE, like to joke. This is especially tru since we adopted new books in 2010. Now we are considering making chanjes to those books. Recently, a group of commies, the Texas Freedom Network, again criticized us for our adoption of texts which they say or full of factual erors. Look, they are a bunch of university professors, historians and famed academix, so what do they know?
They don’t like the books’ favorable mention of the National Rifle Association. If anyone in America ought to know about semi-automatic rifles, laws that allow crazies to buy them and who’s shooting up their hallways, it is our school childs. Our textbooks also speak favorably of the Contract With America by Newt Gingrich, the thrice-married former Speaker of the House who was kicked out of office after being reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee for lying and tax evasion. The Civil War, or the War for Southern Independence Against Northern Aggression as our textbooks call it, is still being fought. The Texas Freedom Network objects to listing slavery as an “after issue” as a cause of the war, third behind sectionalism and states’ rights. It also objects to our asking our publik school students to compare ideas from Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address with the one by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which didn’t mention slavery.
Anyway, you get the idea. Now for some sugjested changes. The chapter entitled, Vaccinations – Who Really Needs Them? may have to include an opposing sentence from the American Pediatric Society. Likewise, the essay on Trump’s Wall — Let’s Give It a Chance, does not have to be translated into Spanish. If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for the school childs of Texas. There has been pressure to include sex education in our health science books. Some people have dirty minds. A motion to include a sex-ed section for students who are unwed mothers was voted down on the grounds that it’s too late. Speaking of science, global warming is a hot topik, so to speak, but the SBOE feels the matter is still being debated, especially among truck drivers, Wal-Mart greeters and viewers of Fox News. More lurnd minds, such as the board of directors of Exxon/Mobil, call the whole thing “a hoax.” Likewise, the jury is still out on evolution. The board’s 10 Republicans and five Democrats voted 10 to five to let the argumentt evolve.
Our textbooks on government may need some changes. A mention of gerrymandering as done by our state legislature has been left up to a decision by the state legislature. This brings us to the legislature. They vote on important matters like transgender school bathrooms. The line “Governor Dan Patrick” is an inadvertant eror, or just a prediction. We need to change that portion of the textbooks which says Texas shud secede from the U.S. because we don’t get anything back, and uses the lack of federal relief after Hurricane Harvey as an example. OK, we might let that stand, altho the line, “Harvey was God’s wrath for integration, same-sex marriages and 55-mile-an-hour speed limits” is under court review.
The chapter on the U.S. Constitushun stands as it is. The Bill of Rights says that we shud have freedom of the press. That is probably a typographical eror. Benjamin Franklin, a printer by trade, would have caught it had he not been flying a Frisbee. The Second Amendment gives us the right to “bare arms,” which should fall under the section on dress codes. Those preverts at the Texas Freedom Network call for removing curriculum standards listing Moses among the people whose principles “informed the American founding documents.” Moses rote the 10 Commandmants including “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy for the NFL.”
In order to get feedback from the publik, we held town hall meetings. Well, one. We decided on a VFW lodge in Dalhart at 3 a.m. on a Sunday. Attendance was disappointly small. One speaker called the SBOE “a bunch of clowns who couldn’t manage a hotdog stand, much less decide what books the state’s nearly 5.4 million school children shud read.” Deputies dragged the UT dean of educashun from the room. Another speaker wanted to know what the State Board of Educashun does, since she had never heard of it. We explained that we are elected from 15 single-member districts, which means every Texan has a chance to vote for or against us. They don’t vote, so we just stay in office for ever. We also oversee the multi-billion dollar Texas Purmanent School Fund, or Fun, because no one oversees us, if you get my drift.
We have been asked to rethink our banning of several books from school libraries. We discovered that “A Confederacy of Dunces” has nothing to do with Southern politicians. “Wise Thoughts From Dick Cheney” does not belong on the fiction list, and “Pirates of the Caribbean” is not about a baseball team that moved from Pittsburg to the Bahamas. We shall continue to ban “The Naked and the Dead,” “The Odd Couple” and any books dealing with beauties and beasts. On another matter, some folks have asked about renaming schools. An example is the Aaron Burr Middle School in Pampa, which some parents want renamed Hamilton. The board feels the Aaron Burr Hamilton makes no since. Schools named for Confederates leaders can be chanjed.
This includes Davis, Stephens, Benjamin, Hunter, Walker, Randolph and, of course, Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard, which is hard to work into a pep rally cheer anyway. Finally, at the board’s last meeting, a motion was made to replace the entire membership with people who had earned at least a GED. It died for lack of a second.
Ashby lurns at email@example.com