Help Prevent Political Interference with Curriculum Standards

August 24, 2010

The Center for Inquiry needs your help supporting a House Resolution to end political meddling with public school curriculum standards.

Earlier this year, Texas' Christian fundamentalist-dominated State Board of Education mandated a bizarrely warped US history curriculum for Texas school children. Because of Texas' enormous influence on the nation's textbook market, the Board's actions affect non-Texan students as well. In March the board included a plank directing students to learn about "the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association." Because they didn't care much for Thomas Jefferson, who coined the term "wall of separation between church and state," they erased him from the history books, only to be replaced by lessons on the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas.

As if scrubbing Jefferson's name from history were not enough, the board adopted measures in May requiring students to "examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America and guaranteed its free exercise by saying that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and compare and contrast this to the phrase 'separation of church and state.'" This reflects conservative evangelicals' false contention that the doctrine of separation of church and state was fabricated by judges and was not part of the original intent of the Constitution's drafters.

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson from Texas has introduced H. Res 1593, which "supports standards that guide curriculum development, instruction, and assessment in classrooms that are developed by experts and not subject to political biases." Please contact your U.S. Representative today to urge him or her to cosponsor this important resolution.

Visit this link to send an e-mail to your U.S. Representative. You may modify the letter with your own words if you wish, but please send your letter as soon as possible.

Thank you for your support.

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Comments:

#1 Robert B. Elliott (Guest) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 at 7:50pm

Most textbooks are a waste in my opinion & I don’t think it is possible to neutralize content of all political meaning or messages. But to intentionally manipulate history texts or other textbooks in order to prosetlyze for a religious view or to brainwash students with a particular political persuasion is anathema to the very concept of education.

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