Monday, March 15, 2010

Founding Father Falls From Favor

Texas Yanks Thomas Jefferson From Teaching Standard

"Widely regarded as one of the most important of all the founding fathers of the United States, Thomas Jefferson received a demotion of sorts Friday thanks to the Texas Board of Education.
The board voted to enact new teaching standards for history and social studies that will alter which material gets included in school textbooks. It decided to drop Jefferson from a world history section devoted to great political thinkers.
According to Texas Freedom Network, a group that opposes many of the changes put in place by the Board of Education, the original curriculum asked students to "explain the impact of Enlightenment ideas from John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Jefferson on political revolutions from 1750 to the present."
That emphasis did not sit well with board member Cynthia Dunbar, who, during Friday's meeting, explained the rationale for changing it. "The Enlightenment was not the only philosophy on which these revolutions were based," Dunbar said.
The new standard, passed at the meeting in a 10-5 vote, now reads, "Explain the impact of the writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Sir William Blackstone."
By dropping mention of revolution, and substituting figures such as Aquinas and Calvin for Jefferson, Texas Freedom Network argues, the board had chosen to embrace religious teachings over those of Jefferson, the man who coined the phrase "separation between church and state."

Wikipedia - "In 2006, Dunbar won the Republican nomination for the Texas State Board of Education, saying voters responded to her because she supports teaching intelligent design in science classes.
Her 2008 book One Nation Under God advocates that the Christian religion should be in the public square more. In addition, she has been criticized for a section of the book that called public education a "subtly deceptive tool of perversion" as well as saying "The establishment of public schools is unconstitutional and even 'tyrannical'."


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