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Deep in the heart of Islam
September 24, 2010 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Warning of a "creeping Middle Eastern influence" in our nation's school textbooks, the Texas State Board of Education will vote today on a resolution [.pdf] that would prohibit the State of Texas from purchasing textbooks which exhibit a "pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias”. Reaction in Texas is mixed.

Some activists fear that including Islam in textbooks would encourage Texan youngsters to become jihadists. [Audio, about 1:00 mark]
posted by Avenger (134 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am so sick of these assholes.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:25 AM on September 24, 2010 [74 favorites]


I'm trying to figure out if that prohibition is a blatant violation of the First Amendment, or obviously and totally redundant because of it.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:25 AM on September 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


So... Texans. I appreciate that you do not like being mocked for the actions of the small majority of utter lunatics in your state, but seriously, what the fuck?
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on September 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Heck of a funky-ass beat backing that audio clip.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:26 AM on September 24, 2010


I know I mentioned this before, but I swear to Whomever that I had a university student in a 200-level course barely a year ago actually object to my referring to the Arabic numerals in our text as such, as it was pro-Islam and anti-Christian. When I explained that it was so students would not confuse them with the Roman numerals in our text, he went off on a rant about Romans persecuting the Christians.

For some people, the persecution complex is more than a psychological condition: it is metaphysical and existential in that it provides a lens through which they view the whole world.

And it is fucking annoying.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:29 AM on September 24, 2010 [117 favorites]


I fear the creeping midwestern influence on our nation's school textbooks.
posted by gurple at 10:30 AM on September 24, 2010 [12 favorites]


If I were a schoolkid in Texas, I'd probably want to blow myself up too.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:30 AM on September 24, 2010 [14 favorites]


I hear they are going to replace Algebra with something called Americarithmetic.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:31 AM on September 24, 2010 [62 favorites]


By the by, I am still the only person referring to afghans as liberty blankets?
posted by joe lisboa at 10:33 AM on September 24, 2010 [17 favorites]


Sigh. I swear, if this thread turns into another BASH TEXAS! shindig I'll go down to the textbook printers and insert some real crazy.
posted by item at 10:33 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Haven't they seceded yet? No? Crap.
posted by lordrunningclam at 10:34 AM on September 24, 2010


DO IT ITEM!
posted by Mister_A at 10:34 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also: there's international conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:34 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


At this point, they've got to be just fucking with me, right? Right?
posted by terrierhead at 10:35 AM on September 24, 2010


TPM discusses the rise of Sharia Law in America
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:38 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I fear the creeping midwestern influence on our nation's school textbooks.

posted by gurple at 12:30 PM on September 24 [+] [!]


Texas is not in the midwest. Let me guess: you live on the East coast.
posted by goethean at 10:39 AM on September 24, 2010 [12 favorites]


Some activists fear that including Islam in textbooks would encourage Texan youngsters to become jihadists.

Curiously, learning a single goddammed thing about Islam would mean that activists wouldn't have this fear anymore.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:39 AM on September 24, 2010 [15 favorites]


I hear they are going to replace Algebra with something called Americarithmetic.

Oh this is a fun game indeed!

Alcohol -> Liberty Juice
Coffee -> Post-Liberty Juice
Mattress -> American Factory
Tuna -> Flag fish
posted by griphus at 10:40 AM on September 24, 2010 [18 favorites]


Some activists fear that including Islam in textbooks would encourage Texan youngsters to become jihadists.

Good thing Germany Texas removed all mention of Judaism from their textbooks. Those youngsters might get a hankerin' for some Christian babies.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 AM on September 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


From that final "mixed" link:
In the board’s official resolution, members cite textbook passages that call Christian Crusaders "invaders" and "violent attackers," while claiming Muslims were "empire builders."

The resolution also said that in some textbooks, Islam is glorified while Christianity is downplayed.
Guess medieval history has a bit of an Islamist bias.

They should take all the zeroes out of the math texts too. Nothingness, the void, all that - that's some radical Hindu propaganda right there. Might lead to Krishna worship or existentialism, and both of 'em are gateway drugs for communism. In America, counting begins with No. 1.
posted by gompa at 10:42 AM on September 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


My daughter just started kindergarten in a Texas public school and every time the SBOE starts trying to edit textbooks/curriculum, I have to tack more items onto the list of things I'm responsible for teaching my daughter so that she has a well rounded education. They're making work for me and it's PISSING ME OFF. Worse than that, they're just being nimrods.
posted by PuppyCat at 10:43 AM on September 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


In America, counting begins with No. 1.

And it usually ends there, too.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:44 AM on September 24, 2010 [33 favorites]


Islamic influences in textbooks? Hey, I'm all for eliminating religious bias in textbooks! Ket's do it! Can you show me any concrete examples?

(waiting)

Well, while you look, can we talk about getting rid of this "intelligent design" stuff, which obviously just a religious... Hey, where ya going?
posted by tyllwin at 10:45 AM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


*sigh* Don McLeroy is such a dipshit. But! He lost the primary so his influence will hopefully be extinguished very soon. I don't know much about the guy who beat him, but at least his dad was fairly moderate.
posted by kmz at 10:46 AM on September 24, 2010


what the fuck?

The State Board of Education is filled with elected officials. I suggest that anyone who cares about this issue donate to the local Democratic Party offices in the following districts:

District 5 Republican
District 6 Republican
District 7 Republican
District 8 Republican
District 9 Republican
District 10 Republican
District 11 Republican
District 12 Republican
District 14 Republican
District 15 Republican
posted by muddgirl at 10:48 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is there anything someone who doesn't vote in the Texas school board elections can do about this? It seems like such an impenetrable little world.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:50 AM on September 24, 2010


Thanks, muddgirl.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:52 AM on September 24, 2010


Their copy of the Necronomicon is going to be *really* screwy.
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on September 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


Texas is not in the midwest. Let me guess: you live on the East coast.

Funny, when I lived in Texas, we considered ourselves part of the midwest. I suppose Dallas is kind of on the eastern side of Texas.
posted by nomisxid at 10:57 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only thing worse than ignorance is the insistence that everyone else be just as uneducated.

Also, it is sad that the Board of Education's name appears to be unintentional irony.
posted by bearwife at 10:57 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think that supporting the Common Core State Standards Initiative will reduce the ability for the Texas State Board to set the textbook standards for a large swath of the nation. This takes a national approach to setting education standards, lowering Texas's ability to impact the regional education standards from their large purchases of textbooks.
posted by msbutah at 10:58 AM on September 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


You can see the District Map here [pdf]
posted by muddgirl at 10:58 AM on September 24, 2010


what
posted by Ouisch at 10:58 AM on September 24, 2010


Hmm... not perfect but way way waaaaaaaaaay better than McLeroy.

From what I'm reading, some of the other ultra-Christian Republican SBOE members lost their primaries or chose not to run this time, so I wonder if this is a last gasp effort to fuck things up before they lose power.
posted by kmz at 10:58 AM on September 24, 2010


ISLAM IS THE LIGHT
posted by Ouisch at 10:58 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Texas squinted coolly at Arizona, Alabamy, and Alaska. "So," Texas said, its voice little more than a whisper, "Ya think you're pretty crazy, do ya? I'll show ya crazy—"

And just then Delaware burst through the door, its makeup smudged, a goofy grin on its face. "Hey guys! Witches! Aliens! Strange concepts of sin! Look there's a party later, you wanna come?"
posted by Mister_A at 10:59 AM on September 24, 2010 [25 favorites]


And then they have a SATAN PICNIC.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sigh. I swear, if this thread turns into another BASH TEXAS! shindig I'll go down to the textbook printers and insert some real crazy

How will anyone notice?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 11:00 AM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Warning of a "creeping Middle Eastern influence" in our nation's school textbooks

I'm all for keeping religious concepts of Middle Eastern origin from distorting our textbooks.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:03 AM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Funny, when I lived in Texas, we considered ourselves part of the midwest.

I've lived in Texas almost all my life but I've never heard of Texas as part of the Midwest. Southwest, yes. South, maybe, but a lot of people will argue with that.
posted by kmz at 11:03 AM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


The amount of whining on Metafilter that Texans do is pretty funny from a supposedly tough state whose anti-littering campaign is a threat.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Heh, they said "oligopoly".
I gotta look that one up.
posted by Iron Rat at 11:05 AM on September 24, 2010


And then they have a SATAN PICNIC.

Ahhh, FINALLY somewhere I hang up my Satan flag.
posted by hermitosis at 11:06 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The amount of whining on Metafilter that Texans do is pretty funny from a supposedly tough state whose anti-littering campaign is a threat.

Hey now, let us refrain from turning against each other. If we do that, the terrorists Texas Board of Education wins. Sane Texans, I stand with you.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:06 AM on September 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


I wonder if this is a last gasp effort to fuck things up before they lose power.

From what I remember reading, they really only do a textbook review once a decade, so it won't matter if they bow out for a few years at this point. Look for the full-on crazy to rear its ugly head again sometime around 2018.
posted by hippybear at 11:08 AM on September 24, 2010


Haven't they seceded yet? No? Crap.

Some days, I fight this. Other days, like today, I kinda wish the union would fucking just kick Texas out, and Mexico would take us back. I think that under these circumstances, I'd probably do a good bit better than the fundie assholes on the board of education.

So, my advice is -- turn us over to Mexico, and let all the bigots move somewhere north of the border, in a modern-day Runaway Scrape. Nothing would gladden my heart more than seeing these assholes driven, weeping and wailing, from their homes, their fields burning behind them, to light the way.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:08 AM on September 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


It never fails that people invariably become exactly what they fear the most.
posted by any major dude at 11:10 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


No way! We're building a wall to keep Texans out of America!

¡Tejas es muy malo!
posted by Mister_A at 11:10 AM on September 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


Man I cracked myself up with that one. Carry on.
posted by Mister_A at 11:11 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The amount of whining on Metafilter that Texans do is pretty funny

I don't see a whole lot of whining, unless you're counting item's funny comment above. I do see a bunch of people acting like ignorant stereotyping assholes though.
posted by IanMorr at 11:13 AM on September 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think that supporting the Common Core State Standards Initiative will reduce the ability for the Texas State Board to set the textbook standards for a large swath of the nation.

I am a Texan, and a laid-off textbook editor. The Texas State Board of Ed does not set the textbook standards for other states. Nearly every state demands their own customized version of a textbook. Seriously. If one's only concern is that Texans be fucking stuff up for kids in other states, that is not happening. If Texans want a version of a textbook that's all "BOOO ISLAM", then textbook companies will make that, and then have a different version that caters to each other states' standards.

Texas: We may be stupid, but we're not fucking shit up for your kids.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:13 AM on September 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


The logic works as follows: The more I learn about something, the more likely I am to act violently in favor of it.

Knowledge is terror, apparently.
posted by banal evil at 11:15 AM on September 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


The amount of whining on Metafilter that Texans do is pretty funny from a supposedly tough state whose anti-littering campaign is a threat.

Are you the guy who keeps making this same comment, year after year, in threads like these? It's really hackneyed, and you should stop doing it.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:16 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


"We politely request that you please don't mess with Texas" just doesn't have the zip we were looking for.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:18 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought the other finalist, "Don't make me shoot you in the fucking face!!!" was pretty catchy.
posted by Mister_A at 11:19 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I've lived in Texas almost all my life but I've never heard of Texas as part of the Midwest. Southwest, yes. South, maybe, but a lot of people will argue with that."

Is your tea sweat?
posted by oddman at 11:20 AM on September 24, 2010


So... Texans. I appreciate that you do not like being mocked for the actions of the small majority of utter lunatics in your state, but seriously, what the fuck?

I bow to no one in my dislike of what felt like several lifetimes that I spent in Texas.

But.

This is less a "Texans are fuckheads" thing than a "the Texas constitution is borked" thing.

School boards are commonly a point of entry for fundamentalist right-wing whack-jobs. They're elections that control things that the FRWWJs care about. And the elections are well under the radar for most sane people, so a small group of energized FRWWJs can actually get one of their number elected.

What makes Texas special here is just that the state has a relatively high degree of central control over its public schools, and has a centrally elected school board that (again) FRWWJs pay disproportionately high attention to and sane people disproportionately low.

If you wanted to create a system that was engineered to produce fuckhead results like this, you would be hard-pressed to make a better system in theory than Texas has in fact. And if you moved the Texas system to other states, you'd probably find them starting to make similar fuckwitted moves in the same fuckwitted direction.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:21 AM on September 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


I really don't care what the fuck Texas does. OK, I do, but I have a larger point.

The real issue here (as I'm sure many of you know) is the purchasing power of Texas' large population defines textbook purchases in places besides Texas.

If we had our collective educational act together, we wouldn't need Texas to define which textbooks we're using. Missouri, for example, could just go, "Fuck Texas. We're buying the non-crazy textbooks. Yes, we know they'll cost more. But everybody chill the fuck out. We got this."

Last time I checked, California had more people than Texas, with New York and Florida right behind Texas. But California, for example, is famously fucked up on a dollars and cents level.

Be mad at Texas. Save your real ire for your own state and your own school district for being such jackasses with the checkbook that Texas has this influence in the first place.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:21 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is your tea sweat?

ugh - just ugh
posted by pyramid termite at 11:23 AM on September 24, 2010


I thought the other finalist, "Don't make me shoot you in the fucking face!!!" was pretty catchy.
Cheney issued GSDM a cease and desist, unfortunately.

Is your tea sweat?
No, but it is mighty humid, today. We could arrange that for you.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:23 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I fear the creeping midwestern influence on our nation's school textbooks.
Yeah, next thing you know armies of Iowans will be marching on California and New York, forcing you to allow gay people to marry.
posted by craichead at 11:25 AM on September 24, 2010 [27 favorites]


Both sweat and unsweat tea are served in most Texas establishments. Personally, I like the tea without any sweat.
posted by muddgirl at 11:26 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


My dog licks the sweat off my legs when I come home from a bike ride or run. It's gross. She's a Boston Terrier and a complete moron.
posted by Mister_A at 11:27 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


And people ask me why I will never go back to the United States. I grew up in Dallas, TX, spent 18 years there and I'm now a Canadian citizen. It's because of bullshit like this that I left. Good riddance.
posted by Fizz at 11:27 AM on September 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


23skidoo - No, I beleive you are thinking of wfrgms.
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM on September 24, 2010


Texas is just...Texas. There's a little of everything here. Whatever you want, we got it. But I've never heard this state referred to as part of the Midwest. If you want to talk in terms of meteorology, a large area of Texas is part of the Southern Plains, but not all of it by a long shot. There's the whole desert thing happening out toward El Paso, and then you got your Panhandle, and then there's the Valley and then there's that whole gulf-coast nether regions area, and north of that you got East Texas pines as far as you can see to Lousiana- it's an interesting place. But it's not part of the Midwest.

And I digress...
posted by PuppyCat at 11:28 AM on September 24, 2010


Hey! You got cacti in Texas, right?
posted by Mister_A at 11:32 AM on September 24, 2010


Fun Texas fact: Texas used to have an embassy in London.

Hence this Mexican restaurant.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


In America, counting begins with No. 1.

That's because Texas doesn't trust the origin of Zero.
posted by sourwookie at 11:36 AM on September 24, 2010


Some activists fear that including Texas in textbooks would encourage knee-jerk reactionary stupidity.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:37 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Puppycat: "Worse than that, they're just being nimrods."

Nimrod

There's a little irony for you! Enjoy.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:40 AM on September 24, 2010


So, having read the resolution in the linked PDF, it seems to say and do absolutely nothing to prohibit anything. "...the SBOE will look to reject future prejudicial Social Studies submissions that continue to offend Texas law...". Means nothing, there's so many loopholes in it you could drive a good ol' boy's Chevy through it. They're trolling, making semi-offensive resolutions for the sake of your recreational outrage.
posted by IanMorr at 11:41 AM on September 24, 2010


Look, I'm sorry about the whole "midwestern" thing. It was a cheap joke, and I knew better.

The proper term is "flyover".

Note: that joke was not about Texas. That was a joke about me being the kind of coastal snob who would use the term "flyover". Which I'm generally not, except when crap like this happens.
posted by gurple at 11:42 AM on September 24, 2010


Nobody flies over Texas. Too many bullets.
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Funny, when I lived in Texas, we considered ourselves part of the midwest.

You were educated with those textbooks, weren't you?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:44 AM on September 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


This worries me coming from someone who taught history: "A textbook should not proselytize for any side. It should present fact. And, from what we’ve seen of the text, they present fact." (from the "mixed" link above.)

Since when is history synonymous with fact? History is narrative, there are multiple perspectives of every event. History is not just dates, and even those aren't always agreed upon. I get what she is trying to say, but it is a misunderstanding of what it means to teach history in the first place.

Fizz: I grew up in Dallas, TX, spent 18 years there and I'm now a Canadian citizen.
I think you're my doppleganger.
posted by acheekymonkey at 11:48 AM on September 24, 2010 [3 favorites]



"I've lived in Texas almost all my life but I've never heard of Texas as part of the Midwest. Southwest, yes. South, maybe, but a lot of people will argue with that."

Is your tea sweatsweet?


It may be, but they think barbecue comes from cows!
posted by TedW at 11:51 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


oddman: "Is your tea sweat?"

Sweat? I can't stand iced tea, but it's better than *sweat*. Ew.
posted by notsnot at 11:52 AM on September 24, 2010


Cool Papa Bell: "Missouri, for example, could just go, "Fuck Texas. We're buying the non-crazy textbooks."

Have you ever been here in Misery?
posted by notsnot at 11:54 AM on September 24, 2010


It may be, but they think barbecue comes from cows!

Damn straight! We Texans may have lots of fucked up ideas, but when it comes to barbecue we're absolutely correct. Don't Mess With Brisket.
posted by kmz at 11:54 AM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well, hell. If I'd read closer I'd have seen that gompa made the joke I made in the actual post I quoted from him . Not my day.
posted by sourwookie at 11:54 AM on September 24, 2010


"We politely request that you please don't mess with Texas" just doesn't have the zip we were looking for.

"Don't Mess With Texas" vs "Don't Mess Up Texas". All they need to do is change a preposition to an adverb and the meaning is clear and no longer obviously euphemistic.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:56 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


For balance, an awesome thing about Texas.
posted by Artw at 11:57 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


The resolution cites world history books no longer used in Texas schools that it says devoted more lines of text to Islamic beliefs and practices than Christian beliefs and practices.

May I call you Idiots? Thanks.

Dear Idiots Pushing This Agenda,

The reason more space needs to be dedicated to Islam than Christian beliefs is that, to the vast majority of the students reading these books, Islam is being taught in a limited fashion within those few lines whereas Christian beliefs are reinforced a thousand different ways every single day through going to church and being reminded of what is in the bible by a nearly constant stream of popular American culture.

If you want your kids to know something about the people you hate, even if it's just so that they might better be able to identify them, it might be worth giving your kids a few lines of text that clearly and honestly describe their religion.

Because not knowing about something doesn't make it go away, it just makes it scarier.

Yours Truly,
Sanity.
posted by quin at 11:59 AM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Has anyone seen or read one of the Texas world history books? I am having such a hard time imagining how people can think this.
posted by pointystick at 11:59 AM on September 24, 2010


Motion passed 7-6.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:02 PM on September 24, 2010


Growing up in Texas, let me share a memory. My 6th grade geography book had a map of North America. It had the United States firmly placed in the centre of the page with all 50 states represented. It had Mexico underneath and there was a giant land mass above it that was shaded grey and unlabelled. I am now a citizen of this unlabelled grey shaded area that we and the rest of the world call Canada. For some reason though, the people who created that text book and the administrators who select books for the school district decided that knowing about one of the USA's largest trading partners was not necessary for an education.
posted by Fizz at 12:02 PM on September 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


The ratio of discussing different religions in a World History textbook should obviously be propotional to the number of historical people who followed that religion, so we can expect to read a lot more about animism and folk magic.

Additionally, it's only fair that references to governments and nations should be based on their populations, so expect a couple of chapters on the life of Chairman Mao.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:15 PM on September 24, 2010


I don't get why they aren't called texbooks, yet.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:20 PM on September 24, 2010


I don't get why they aren't called texbooks, yet.

Don't give them ideas!
posted by kmz at 12:21 PM on September 24, 2010


McLeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!

... damnit mcleroy...

least i got chicken.
posted by symbioid at 12:21 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fizz: The map might just have been printed during dark time when Canada was battling the sentient death fog and it's legion of shadowy hunters. Ask anyone who remembers the Diefenbaker years, they'll fill you in.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:22 PM on September 24, 2010


I had a university student in a 200-level course barely a year ago actually object to my referring to the Arabic numerals in our text as such

They are of Hindu origins, you know.

Just sayin'.
posted by Doohickie at 12:22 PM on September 24, 2010


Funny, when I lived in Texas, we considered ourselves part of the midwest. I suppose Dallas is kind of on the eastern side of Texas.

Perhaps you misheard the geographic situation. To get it straight, just remember that Fort Worth is where the West begins, which means that Dallas is where the East peters out.
posted by Doohickie at 12:29 PM on September 24, 2010


Why do we keep pretending that Texas' stranglehold on the textbook industry is an irreconcilable fact of the universe like conservation of energy? It is merely inconvenient for textbook publishers to put out separate editions, but it is possible, and these days offering a "non-Texan" edition would probably result in more sales. Another "market-driven" solution is for school districts to stop holding their noses and buying this trash.

If the rest of the country would simply stand up to these clowns in Texas, this problem would solve itself. Instead we all just throw our hands up and go, "What can we do short of alter the elections in Texas? They simply control all the schooling in the country!"
posted by Legomancer at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is merely inconvenient massively expensive for textbook publishers to put out separate editions
posted by shakespeherian at 12:34 PM on September 24, 2010


When will we, as a nation of school districts, drop the paper text books and go to a screen based [Kindle-like] system then the actions of a large buyer of texts would be moot. Updates would happen instantly as would teacher assignments loading into the units overnight, the sky godders can still have their fantasy editions just not be able to force them on the rest of us who think. Start with the state universities then filter down.

Why are we all paying higher taxes to underwrite these churches anyway? They get to run way too much of the public debate and don't pay the freight on local services. Then they vote to cut school bugets and lay off teachers then scream about Charter schools solving all the problems.

When schools are cutting the staff we have to force the elimination of paper textbooks and control who writes the basic texts so the rights are owned by the public, going to public domain as the default.
posted by Freedomboy at 12:35 PM on September 24, 2010


members cite textbook passages that call Christian Crusaders "invaders" and "violent attackers," while claiming Muslims were "empire builders."

Not of the best, but I would like to see a little more of what they're objecting to. Anyone has a link, much obliged.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:36 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


This useful rebuttal of the basis of the resolution is from one of the links
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:44 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't get why they aren't called texbooks, yet.

There's only one TeXBook.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:44 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I made up this joke, of which I am very proud and which seems perfect for this thread:

Q:What does an Islamic terrorist cowboy say?

A:Jeeeeeee-hahd!!!


posted by mmrtnt at 12:46 PM on September 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


I hear they are going to replace Algebra with something called Americarithmetic.

Did you mean, "Al-Jazeerabra"?
posted by mmrtnt at 12:48 PM on September 24, 2010


To continue the derail about Texas' geographic labeling (because the textbook thing is really depressing), as a person who has lived in Austin for the last two years I have my own notions about Texas. It's not really the Southwest, which I consider to be more New Mexico, Arizona, and maybe Nevada and southeastern California -- defined by high desert. It's not really the South, which I would say is anywhere south of DC all the way West to the Texas border (Missouri is therefore not totally sure whether it's in the South or the Midwest) -- coastal plains in the Deep South and mountains in the Northern area. The Midwest is anything North of DC and West of Pennsylvania or Ohio. The West is Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Idaho -- the mountainous states.

Texas, therefore, has a little bit of everything. The Eastern part is more like the South. The Northern part is more like the Midwest. The Western part is more like the Southwest. The Central part is a weird amalgam of all of the above. Really, Texas' geographic label if you need to give it a single one, is Texas. That label might also cover Oklahoma.
posted by malthas at 1:04 PM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did you mean, "Al-Jazeerabra"?

That sounds like it oughta be what you wear under the burqa for support.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:11 PM on September 24, 2010


It was approved.
posted by bradth27 at 1:13 PM on September 24, 2010


"Al-Jazebra" is the best terrorism mascot name ever.
posted by griphus at 1:14 PM on September 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


It is merely inconvenient massively expensive for textbook publishers to put out separate editions

Well in that case I guess we have no choice other than letting one state determine the educational options of the other 49. Makes sense. If Texas were to cease to exist tomorrow I imagine all the textbook publishers would go out of business, so welded is that one state to the entire industry.
posted by Legomancer at 1:20 PM on September 24, 2010


Dear Texas:

Thanks again!

Love,

Alabama

(cc: South Carolina)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:21 PM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, while you look, can we talk about getting rid of this "intelligent design" stuff, which obviously just a religious... Hey, where ya going?

I can't be the only one who wanted to show up at the threatened Koran burning with a couple of Bibles.


posted by mmrtnt at 1:24 PM on September 24, 2010


It is merely inconvenient for textbook publishers to put out separate editions, but it is possible, and these days offering a "non-Texan" edition would probably result in more sales.

Textbook companies makes state-specific editions for most states. It is more than just possible, it is actually already happening, and has been for some time. Texas does not control what other kids learn in other states.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:28 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did you mean, "Al-Jazeerabra"?

I was totally going to make this joke. Stupid work.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:31 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Because of their sheer buying power, large states with statewide textbook adoption processes did once indeed influence what went into the books, which used to be printed almost exclusively in national editions, Diskey and other industry experts said. But since the mid-1990s and the rise of the state curriculum standards and testing movement, publishers have increasingly been forced to customize their books for different states, as well as for larger school districts in the roughly 30 states without statewide adoptions. Simultaneously, advances in publishing and printing technologies allow far more customization at lower cost, much like large newspapers that issue several geographically customized editions every day."

From: Texas Textbooks' National Influence Is a Myth
posted by Fizz at 1:32 PM on September 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


I was totally going to make this joke. Stupid work.

If it makes ya feel any better, DR, stupid work beats clever unemployment in my book. It is an admittedly short book, however.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:34 PM on September 24, 2010


In a fair and just universe, we would both be compensated handsomely for composing short, pithy comments on the internet.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:45 PM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


"creeping Middle Eastern influence"

Remember the good old days, when we only had to be afraid of the creeping influence of Communism?

FEAR! Huh! Good God! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing Keeping the population in line. Huh! Say it again!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:56 PM on September 24, 2010


Why is no one concerned about the creeping influence of creeps? If anyone has designs on our precious bodily fluids, surely it is the creeps.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:59 PM on September 24, 2010


Someone should form super secret group to infiltrate school libraries and leave copies of "dangerous" books like Candide and Paradise Lost in innocuous places.
posted by digitalprimate at 2:10 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dear Texas,

the Romans already took pretty stringent measures to stop a "creeping Middle Eastern influence". If you still have any history textbooks left, try reading them to learn how well that went.
posted by Skeptic at 2:17 PM on September 24, 2010


Well, in my experience the "state specific text" here in Tennessee is the same student textbook as everywhere else, except with Tennessee-specific standards wedged into the between unit teacher's edition pages. hooray!
posted by absalom at 2:19 PM on September 24, 2010


Perhaps we need to make Admiral Ackbar or someone else with a Muslim-sounding name an icon of the resistance to this nonsense, a la the Flying Spaghetti Monster when Kansas (my state) chose to teach Intelligent Design.

Artistic people, get on it!
posted by reenum at 2:26 PM on September 24, 2010


My God, I still can't believe people "teach" Intelligent Design anywhere except maybe a sociology class. I mean, it's not even solid creationism! It's wishy-washy politically correct creationism! It's milquetoast creationism!

I suppose it is more to be feared for all that.
posted by Mister_A at 2:42 PM on September 24, 2010


Does that mean restricting books with:
A) pro-Islamic bias
B) anti-Christian bias
and
C) pro-Islamic bias + anti-Christian bias?

Or does it mean restricting books where both pro-Islamic bias and anti-Christian bias are found together?
posted by Enki at 3:24 PM on September 24, 2010


I recall that in my 7th grade biology class when we arrived to the chapter on evolution it was skipped. I asked my teacher about this and he said "there wasn't time in the school year" to go over that subject, he then quickly changed the topic.

I wonder if anyone else has had an experience like that in other states?
posted by Fizz at 3:31 PM on September 24, 2010


malthas: That's exactly how I describe Texas to the ignernt Yankees up here who think it's all cactus and oil derricks. It's actually the transition between the Deep South and the Southwest. Before you leave, please please please go to Big Bend. You will not regret it.

Back on topic: TSBOE is a travesty. ROU_Xenophobe described why and how very accurately. I'm not sure what influence, if any, those of us who don't live and vote there have. (I'm working on my family... but they don't much care what you think.)

I am sure that the Texas Observer is a good source of information and guidance for anyone who's interested in doing more than LOLTX!ing on the intertubes.

Also, too, a few people mentioned the influence of Texas state standards on national textbooks. These people were not well-served by their own states' schools. They either didn't read or didn't comprehend 23skiddoo's informed comment explaining how and why that influence has vanished.

I propose 23skidoo's last line as a bumpersticker, handed out with tourist info at the state borders: Texas: We may be stupid, but we're not fucking shit up for your kids.
posted by dogrose at 4:30 PM on September 24, 2010


Can't we just air-lift Austin somewhere north of the border and sell them to Mexico?
posted by wires at 5:06 PM on September 24, 2010


The rest of the state, I mean.
posted by wires at 5:07 PM on September 24, 2010


No. Austin is as much a part of Texas as San Antonio, Houston, Jasper or El Paso.
posted by foot at 5:58 PM on September 24, 2010


I am sure that the Texas Observer is a good source of information and guidance for anyone who's interested...

Quite. Subscribe. They need the scratch. Dear god, all at once I started to miss Molly Ivans again something fierce.


Can't we just air-lift Austin somewhere north of the border and sell them to Mexico?
Actually, wires, look at the 2008 election map. Houston, Dallas and San Antonio also tilted Democratic. And what's that blue creeping up from the south? Democracy is comin' to the U. S. A.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:03 PM on September 24, 2010


Andrew Sullivan: "If one were to list the problems in the Texas education system in order of urgency "turning out students with a pro-Islamic, anti-Christian bias" would come right after "exciting topography overstimulating student drivers in panhandle."

Also, Texas is not in the Midwest.

The regions of the US are as follows:

Southeast (aka "The South")
North East
Midwest
Pacific Northwest
California
Southwest
... Texas

(If anything, Texas is part "south", part Southwest)

----

I actually spent a lot of time in Texas as a kid. I remember hearing on the news that people were trying to get central Texas called "Midwest Texas". And people were offended. Why? Because "Midwest" was just too much of a pussy term to apply to any part of Texas.

100% true story! I swear on a stack of Texas constitutions!
posted by delmoi at 7:39 PM on September 24, 2010


I definitely think of the Texas panhandle and far west Texas a part of the West. Maybe down through Big Bend area. And when I was going to school outside of Dallas, it was FAR more "Southern" than midwestern or western. It's an interesting mix, that state. I think, overall, it is simply its own region, like delmoi suggests.
posted by hippybear at 8:42 PM on September 24, 2010


Hahaha. And I had a parent complain today that we were teaching Spanish in school because the second grade reader had the words abuelo, frijoles, and buenos dias. After I explained that not only do kids in Texas have to have two years of a foreign language in order to graduate, the very word Texas is a variation of a Spanish word, he still objected on the grounds that we should just make sure they are mastering English. Just wait until he finds out we are teaching Arabic too!
posted by tamitang at 9:56 PM on September 24, 2010


I attended high school in a Muslim-majority country. I was a practicing Christian back then, and I remember being so fucking annoyed!!!! at the textbooks. The history textbooks worded Islam to be truth, while any other religions were worded as being less so. For example: "Muhammad was given...", "Christians believe that...", "Buddhists claim that..." The overly strung-out chapter on the Crusades pissed me off even more. I remember thinking that the textbook rubbed in the Muslim victories way too gleefully.

I think it's still an ongoing issue in the country between the Muslims and non-Muslims. But the non-Muslims can't do anything, because somewhere in the country's constitution is some detail about how Islam is the country's number one religion, and must not be questioned. This would all be much, much, much easier if everyone just kept religion, regionalism, and mine-is-better-than-yours 'tudes out of textbooks, but who knows when that's going to happen. Just about every country or jurisdiction twists their history textbooks in their own favor, anyway.

I no longer practice any religion and don't care for any ... but I (guiltily) feel some vengeful glee at the textbook situation being the reverse in Texas. I know it's very bad behavior and a crap mindset on my part, and I keep my thoughts to myself and try to fix them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the reverse situation exists somewhere out there, and whoever is being downtrodden is equally peeved/discouraged/made to feel lesser. That kind of thing causes wars, you know.
posted by Xere at 11:33 PM on September 24, 2010


Just goes to show that people are not really any more tolerant, open-minded, or capable of critical thought than they were 50 years ago.

You could find-->replace "Muslims" in most of the argy-bargy coming out of today's Muslin-haters and replace it with "gays" "Communists" "Catholics" "Jews" "the Irish/Germans/whoever" going back further and further. It's always the same pattern. They can't be good citizens because their loyalty is to the Pope/Allah/whatever, therefore they must be deported or stricken from the history books. And of course, it's fruitless to point to people now that these groups which were to be the downfall of the country before are all mostly peaceful model citizens, it gets you nowhere.

Every emerging ethnic or religious group or social/political subculture is always going to have to fight these battles anew, forever.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 1:04 AM on September 25, 2010


dogrose: "I am sure that the Texas Observer is a good source of information and guidance for anyone who's interested in doing more than LOLTX!ing on the intertubes."

Even better would be the Texas Tribune, a year-old non-partisan, non-profit, online publication focusing on state government and politics. They have had excellent coverage of SBOE antics over the last few months.
posted by pineapple at 4:08 PM on September 25, 2010


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