In a vote last week, the Texas Board of Education approved a Social Studies curriculum rewritten to emphasize conservative ideology and whitewash topics that don’t align with board members’ beliefs. The curriculum, which is due to receive final approval in May, was changed to emphasize the Board’s religious and political objectives by, for instance, adding flattering details about disgraced conservative Senator Joseph McCarthy, increasing focus on violent fringe members of the peaceful civil rights coalition, and even downplaying the importance of Thomas Jefferson du
The Senate today rejected an amendment that would have continued sending taxpayer money to the District of Columbia school voucher program. The legislation, which was not reviewed by any Senate committee, was defeated by a vote of 58 to 39.
"Congress deserves an A-plus for this decision," said People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert. "School vouchers have always been about ideology, not education," said Kolbert.
In 1987, God reportedly told David Barton, a one-time science teacher at a fundamentalist Christian school that grew out of a church started by his own parents, that he was “to search the library and find the date that prayer had been prohibited in public schools [and] obtain a record of national SAT scores … spanning several decades.” Predictably, the result of Barton’s unscientific study was to find a “correlation” between the alleged banning of prayer and a decrease in SAT scores, as well as increases in everything from alcohol consumption to crimes rates across the nation.
In early 2004, Congress passed, and President Bush signed into law, an omnibus appropriations act that also created a new federally-funded school voucher program in the District of Columbia, the first such federally-funded voucher program in the country.
Today, governmental responsibilities in education and the strong connection that
Americans have with their public schools are being put to a serious test. A network of Religious Right groups, free-market economists, ultraconservative columnists and others are using vouchers as a vehicle to achieve their ultimate goal of privatizing education.