photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, May 10, 2010

Texas Public Schools- You've Done It Again

Fine. I'll admit it. I was mostly asleep while listening to the news this morning about 5am or so. But my ears perked up and I had a brief, shining moment of hope for the (rightly) maligned public school system in Texas.

First came the push for avowed ultra-fundamental Christians to strong-arm their beliefs onto not only Texan students, but students nationwide thanks to the 'other end of the spectrum' California not being able to afford textbooks anymore. Where in past years, the two biggest buyers of school textbooks canceled each other out and balanced each other in what our students learned, the textbook manufacturers are now poised to bend to the will of the Texas textbook review board- and as Texas leans, so will lean the Nation. Strike One.

Then came the stunning revelation that this self-same group of people decided to EXCLUDE certain historical figures from the history books it's ordering. But not to worry- it's no one important like Thomas Jefferson. Oh. No. Wait.

One of the people deleted from history as planning to be taught to our children IS Thomas Jefferson. No longer an "Important Historical Figure".

Kind of thrown under the bus with poor ex-planet Pluto. Strike Two.

This deciding board in Texas is not comprised of people you'd assume- people like teachers, or professors, or experts in anything school-like. There's a nice couple from not too far north of here who stalwartly strive to Bring God Back Into School and get that nasty old EEEEEvolution out of the science books.

There's the head of the whole shebang- a dentist. A dentist who was VOTED OFF OF the school text book board but has made it his goal to shove all of his fundamental agenda straight into law before he has to step down.

So I was sleepily giddy when I heard the teaser for the upcoming news story- something like "Texas public schools to change the maximum student per classroom laws".

I thought "FINALLY"- one of the big reasons we decided to home school was the 1 teacher per 22 student ratio in our public schools- 1 teacher, NO teacher aide(s) or helpers and 22 tiny 5 year old minds and bodies to nurture and encourage. Impossible. The thought that there was finally going to be a more sensible teacher/student ratio in the lower grades was exciting.

So I fought off dozing off to hear the story.

Here's where it got weird.

The law is not so much going to be "changed" as "abolished". Seems that it costs the public schools alot of money building extra classrooms and hiring extra teachers, and what's really being suggested is that we need to have 1 teacher for MORE THAN 22 students, grades kindergarten-four.

Of course. If we care so little about details like separation of church and state, teaching scientific facts, or keeping the FOUNDING FATHERS in our history books, why should it matter that our smallest, youngest, most impressionable citizens are being packed into classrooms like cattle in the feedlots? Strike Three.

What a coup for the Ritalin pushers.

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