Texas SBOE Facing Death Sentence?
Texas Democrats take on their state's new social studies curriculum. Will the charges stick?
If Democratic lawmakers have their way, the Texas State Board of Education could soon go the way of the Enlightenment and Hip-Hop. Yesterday, state senator Juan Hinojosa announced plans to write a bill eliminating the board, in response to the...ungenerous treatment of civil rights and minorities in the state's new social studies curriculum. Earlier this month, the board tentatively approved the standards after making a host of controversial changes. Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White (and his gigantic ears!)—widely considered to be the Democrats’ best threat to win a statewide race in Texas since the late Ann Richards—called on his opponent, Gov. Rick Perry, to send the social studies standards back to the drawing board.
Specifically, White wants the professional educators who wrote the more balanced first draft of the standards (before passing it on the board for substantial editing) to have another crack at them. Those are both pretty obvious suggestions: It's not entirely clear why you'd want a dentist, rather than experts, to have the final say over education policy—or, for that matter, how electing board members locally makes them any more accountable than if the governor appointed them.