Book Learnin'

I must say I've never quite understood the claim that Texas education standards will adversely affect the content of school textbooks across the nation. The size of the Texas school population (4.8 million kids), so the argument goes, makes it so that textbook publishers cater to the wingnut-heavy state's curriculum. Other states are then forced to accept dumbed-down "Texas-style" textbooks in which creationism is treated as a debatable scientific concept, Thomas Jefferson is excised from the history books because of his views on the separation of church and state (he was for it) and FDR's New Deal is axed in favor of Newt Gingirch's Contract on for America. And WTF about that last one?

This issue begs the question: If Texas' textbooks can be used to hold our children down in the chains of ignorance, why can't California -- with its K-12 school population of 6 million kids -- step up and start ordering its own "reality-based" textbooks? It would seem we could make Texas' idiocy a moot point. Creationism? Out. Evolution...IN. T-Jeff? Back in. Newt? Relegated to lizard week in high school biology classes.

Finally, it appears, California is stepping up and telling Texas to take its textbooks back to the 14th century where they belong. Texas may boast about being big, but nobody messes with California.

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