Does it really make much of a difference if the kids can’t read anyway?

Will history books refer to the 44th American president as Barack Obama, Barack H. Obama or Barack Hussein Obama?

Late into the night, the Texas Board of Education considered these and other questions for the state’s social studies curriculum. The debate has set off a culture war, pitting conservatives against democrats in a battle that attracted 40,000 e mails from parents, teachers and academics from around the nation.

The curriculum covers grades kindergarten through high school, and yet after 12 hours of debate the board had only just begun talking about its biggest challenge – high school standards – at 9 p.m. Thursday.

All day long the board dropped, added and swapped the names of historical figures and events into and out of the standards. It began with 1st graders. John Smith was dropped, as was Nathan Hale, not because he wasn’t important, but because, according to one teacher, ‘the kids couldn’t get past the hanging.’

Despite deep political differences, the debate remained polite until the topic focused on President Obama. Then it got personal. Lawrence Allen, a black former high school principal from Houston offered a motion to enter President Barack Obama’s name in a section of the curriculum that recognized significant dates in U.S. History.

I’d advise them to put Obama’s election under the “important dates” next to the story of Clinton’s impeachment, but the latter isn’t included for the same reason Nathan Hale isn’t: The kids couldn’t get past the hanging.

In any case, the Texas Board of Education continues to debate this topic as we speak:



4 Responses to “To ‘Hussein’ or Not to ‘Hussein’: Textbook Battle in Texas”

  1. Mark1957 on May 21st, 2010 2:51 pm

    His name is Barry Soetoro, but most of us just call him jacka$$.

  2. Rick on May 21st, 2010 1:14 pm

    The Texas Board is so important because what books Texas orders,everybody orders. This is part and parcel of our “Soviet-style” 5-yr plan NEA-owned schools. Comrades Breshnev and Krushev would be proud.

    Will said textbooks be “multi-lingual”in this enlightened era?(no more than ten laguages,please)

  3. Nanny on May 21st, 2010 8:29 pm

    I don't know why they are all up in arms about this. Most schools are not teaching students anyway. It is just garbage in – garbage out – who needs a book for that?

  4. Jhon on July 31st, 2017 9:28 am

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