No matter where you live, if your children go to public schools, the textbooks they use were very possibly written under Texas influence. If they graduated with a reflexive suspicion of the concept of separation of church and state and an unexpected interest in the contributions of the National Rifle Association to American history, you know who to blame.
Did your child graduate from high school with a suspiciously well-developed disdain for the separation of Church and State? Do they believe that the federal income tax is contrary to the laws of God? Are they convinced that the National Rifle Association is the best thing to happen to democracy since semi-automatic weapons? Do they have NO idea who Thomas Jefferson is? Do they believe that the Bible is the infallible and inviolate Word of God? Are they unshakably convinced that the 2nd Amendment is sacrosanct and allows Americans to possess any type and quantity of firepower they desire? Do they come home railing against the evils of “godless Liberals?”
If you can answer “yes” to all, some, or even any of those questions, there’s a very good chance your progeny was
indoctrinated edumicated with a textbook approved by the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE). That Texas is home to some of the most self-righteous, uber-Jesus-y, Far Right Social Conservatives in the nation shouldn’t take anyone by surprise. What you might not realize is the impact that Texas’ edumication standards have on the textbooks used by students around the country.
It’s what economists like to call “economy of scale,” which at its most basic means that the cost of the means of production is fixed, so producing large volumes of a product will drive down its per-unit cost. Textbook publishers are as aware of this concept as any other business, and so they try to maximize profits by minimizing the costs of producing textbooks. The Lone
Brain Cell Star State is the largest market in the country for textbook publishers, who have a significant financial incentive to market the books they sell to Texas school districts across the country. The end result is that a few hyper-religious Right-wing zealots in Texas are determining what and how millions of American children learn. When you consider that the unstated goal of SBOE is to produce the next generations of obedient Christian soldiers, this is no small thing.
Most parents know little, and care even less, about the textbooks their children are being taught with. This might be a good time to take a long, hard look at them…unless you’re OK with the idea of your children being indoctrinated with Right-wing doctrine and Christian dogma on the publi dime.
Onwards, Christian Soldiers….