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Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:00 AM

Texas Senate Bill Drops Teaching Requirement That Ku Klux Klan Is 'Morally Wrong

( Republicans are a dangerous organization, don't doubt their intentions. )


Eliminated requirements also include the writings of Martin Luther King Jr., United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez and suffragist Susan B. Anthony.

By Mary Papenfuss


In a new political low in Texas, the Republican-dominated state Senate has passed a bill to eliminate a requirement that public schools teach that the Ku Klux Klan and its white supremacist campaign of terror are “morally wrong.”

The cut is among some two dozen curriculum requirements dropped in the measure, along with studying Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the works of United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony’s writings about the women’s suffragist movement, and Native American history.

Critics say the state is promoting an “anti-civics” education.

Senate Bill 3 — passed last Friday 18-4 — drops most mentions of people of color and women from the state’s required curriculum.

That includes eliminating a requirement that students be taught the “history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong.”
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/texas-senate-education-bill-white-supremacy_n_60f50cf6e4b01f11895b2dc3

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:06 AM

1. well I will say that morals shouldn't be why we pass laws

the problem with the Klan isn't that they were immoral, it is that they acted to constrict the rights of their fellow citizens who happened to be Black or Jewish or Catholic. But I am assuming that can't be taught either under this.

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Response to dsc (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:13 AM

3. The judicial goal of a law can be more than one thing.

Last edited Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:45 AM - Edit history (1)

The morality of a law notwithstanding.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:08 AM

2. Well, as their golden calf opined -

There are very good people on both sides. The state of Texas just wants to make sure it's precious kiddies don't hear about Klan members doing bad things; because it will hurt families to find out about Grandpappy's tenure in the Klan. It might mean he and Grandma could be thought of as bad people.



Harle

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Response to haele (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:13 AM

4. Exactly. +1

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:15 AM

5. How about telling students thousands were lynched by the Klan?

They can draw their own conclusions about the morality of that.

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Response to sop (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:20 AM

6. They know they can't erase everything, but the goal imo is to leave

the morality judgments up to the individual.

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Response to sop (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:30 AM

7. Having gone to school in TX from 3rd grade through High School and some college

I feel comfortable saying there will be a sizeable number of students who are fine with klan lynchings.


Well, maybe not today - I know there are bluer parts of Texas now and I graduated high school in 1981 but I can safely say all but a very few from my private, fundamentalist christian school were and are still fine with klan lynchings.

The big problem is mine was certainly not the only fundie christian school back then and those people are the parents and grandparents of the kids in school now.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 10:44 AM

8. Legacy, thank you for speaking to that.

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Response to BeckyDem (Original post)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 11:05 AM

9. Most miss what that SB 3 does.

It replaces a HB that was passed in May; a (D) legislator had a long list of topics included in the house bill requirements and the (R) majority House and Senate apparently passed it. (This was in May. May's a busy month in my high school, so I can only hope it didn't actually pass. I read part of it and was glad I teach science.)

That House bill directed the Board of Education to revise the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills to include that long list of people, places, documents, events. Those process and content standards are called "TEKS".

I don't teach US History, but would point out that it didn't say which course should teach the new content--the implication being that the TEKS needed revision for every grade. The House bill was no worse than the Senate bill in being sloppy: 1st through 12th, history and government and economics, required and elective courses. Big rewrite for a list.

I do teach science, and swear every time I see a list of details that must be taught. On the one hand, the details overwhelm the big picture; you must leave some out, otherwise all you do is have a laundry-list course. Most evaluations of the current TEKS come in as "mile wide and inch deep." The science TEKS I helped rewrite last fall specifically eliminated many lists in favor of broader categories and the purpose for those categories with lists going into a kind of planned guide for new teachers (or for old teachers who left something out). Required lists also mitigate the "academic freedom" clause for teachers--requiring to teach 150 things is in many ways worse than saying you can't teach a specific thing.

The real thing overlooked is that there already are TEKS, for each course. US History is the subject of a standardized test required for graduation in the state. Already included are topics like women and the franchise, women's rights movement; abolition, its roots and how it went during the 1850s through the civil war and reconstruction and the roll back in the late 1800s, then Jim Crow and the reasons for and consequences of the Great Migration, Harlem, MLK and the civil rights movement. A lot of documents and people are pulled in during the discussion. What gets included depends on the school and teacher, but if you want your students to pass the test you make sure that these things are covered in adequate depth and complexity.

Sometimes I think that the legislators don't both to look at the TEKS before stipulating what must be in them. STAAR test questions are released. Here's one from 2011:
During the early 1900s, Booker T. Washington supported a moderate strategy for attaining civil
rights for African Americans, while W. E. B. Du Bois called for a more aggressive approach. During
the 1960s, a similar difference emerged between —
A Medgar Evers and Thurgood Marshall
B Barbara Jordan and Alice Walker
C Rosa Parks and Marcus Garvey
D Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X


Current standards are from 2018, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=113&rl=41
That might not work, all the social studies high-school TEKS are at https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=19&pt=2&ch=113&sch=C&rl=Y.
That 2018 date is actually important: The new science TEKS are effective as of fall 2021, but are not to be used until 2024 (except for one exception that the science rewrite teams strongly requested be implemented asap). So the Soc. Studies TEKS were effective as of 2018, meaning it was likely that in 2019 a call for textbook adoption was issued, in 2020 curricula were re-written, and this year, 2021, is probably the first year they will actually be seen in the classroom.


The SB 3 is less problematic in that it struck the requirement of revising the TEKS to include a the list to teach to (many of the elements are already taught, of course). But it's still a problem in that it requires a rewrite of the process skills to ensure that multiple views and respect of each student's dignity are upheld. Strikes me that there are better ways of doing that without a 4-year process being repeated the first year 4 years' work comes to fruition, and having that 4-year process squashed into 3 years. Both the HB and the SB suck.

Here's a chunk of the current TEKS, since this is (part of) what's actually already on the books, and none of this is struck or immediately changed by either the SB or the HB:
(A) trace the historical development of the civil rights movement from the late 1800s through the 21st century, including the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments;
(B) explain how Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan created obstacles to civil rights for minorities such as the suppression of voting;
(C) describe the roles of political organizations that promoted African American, Chicano, American Indian, and women's civil rights;
(D) identify the roles of significant leaders who supported various rights movements, including Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Rosa Parks, and Betty Friedan;
(E) compare and contrast the approach taken by the Black Panthers with the nonviolent approach of Martin Luther King Jr.;
(F) discuss the impact of the writings of Martin Luther King Jr. such as his "I Have a Dream" speech and "Letter from Birmingham Jail" on the civil rights movement;
(G) describe presidential actions and congressional votes to address minority rights in the United States, including desegregation of the armed forces, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965;
(H) explain how George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and the Congressional bloc of southern Democrats sought to maintain the status quo;


Please note that many of the names that several posts say are being struck from the Texas standards are already in the standards, and all that's being done by the Senate Bill is striking the names from a longer list that must be included in a required TEKS revision. The CRA and VRA, Chavez and Parks and MLK and Huerta are already being taught. Have been taught. Will be taught. The SB does not say to strike these names from the TEKS.

Very often teachers do not have sufficient time to cover 100% of the content. Adding more details would slow things down even more. The only saving grace in having too much content to teach when there's a standardized test based on it is that the STAAR tests are constructed so that something like 30% of the material composes 60% of the test content. That required content is identified, covered well. The rest of the content, 70% or so (maybe 60%--my courses aren't tested, so I don't care), is the other 40% of the test. When the science TEKS were revised last fall, one common complaint from the subject-matter experts at various universities was "mile wide and inch deep", with the strong recommendation to remove laundry lists. You *must* use events, people, places, and documents but not for their own sake, but to contextualize and understand the rest of the content.

And of course, these TEKS don't cover dual credit or AP USH courses. I swear, perhaps half of my juniors last year, the US History grade, were in "d-cush" or "a-push".

Note the ambiguity in both the HB and SB is actually perplexing. A lot of the US History content first crops up in elementary school, and is the focus of 8th-grade history (if I remember correctly). I do teach social studies in summer school, but just government and economics--and know for a fact that some things from that HB list that aren't in the US History TEKS do show up in US Government. If I were told to teach US History I'd probably ask where the officially designated seppuku area was.

Post too long, don't feel like editing for brevity--and for many, the details are needed as evidence for what I'm saying.


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Response to Igel (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 20, 2021, 11:12 AM

10. The Republicans crafted this for a purpose, no one believes they imagined they could erase

everything, yet their intentions should be met with scorn not passage.

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