Monday, May 17, 2010

Letter To Texas Education Agency Rules Committee

In response to a request for comments on a set of SBOE proposals to rewrite the requirements of the basic curriculum K-12 in a mode suitable only for right-wing zealots and fundamentalist self-proclaimed "Christians" who, for a very short time yet, own the SBOE:

Subject: SBOE TAKS rewrite: I OPPOSE the proposed changes
From: [me]

This is in regard to the proposed adoption of "Text of Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 113. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies" and related SBOE proposals. I OPPOSE the proposed changes as they stand.

I am chagrined at the apparently willful exclusion of a great number of traditional American and Texan figures, and all broader progressive concepts of American thought, from the curriculum proposals. The failure even to mention our current President Barack Obama is unconscionable. The omission of Thomas Jefferson is particularly grievous, and may reasonably be called an un-American gesture on the part of the proposal's authors. The American Revolution was not fought exclusively by radical Christian conservatives, nor was the Constitution constructed without the input of some very progressive individuals, and the school children of the great State of Texas are ill-served by the havoc wrought by the rewriters of this curriculum document and related documents who omitted virtually all such figures.

This is a baldfaced attempt to inject right-wing politics and religion into a public educational process that is properly politically neutral and, in accordance with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, free of specific religious teachings. In short, I oppose utterly the adoption of these extremist changes to a system of education that has produced many fine citizens among Texans.

Very truly yours,

Stephen S. Bates

As the son of a man who fought these same battles about 30 years ago before an earlier Texas SBOE... and won his battles... I cannot tell you how much I resent the bastards who are trying to eviscerate the public schools in Texas. The chief culprit is Don McLeroy, a right-wing nutcase who has already lost his primary battle to remain on the Board next year, but is still wreaking havoc in behalf of zealots who do NOT represent anywhere nearly a majority of Texans of any political stripe. If you live in Texas and would like to write your own letter, I'd be grateful. As always, be polite... but don't pull any punches.


  1. I think your dad would be very appreciative you have done a good job continuing his fight!

    Nice one two punch, Steve!

  2. Next thing will be to deny that Mr. Jesus was a Jew.



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