Texas SBOE – History Vote, stupid but managable
Honestly, in spite of the huge amounts of idiocy at the state level in Texas, I don’t see much happening. Textbook adoptions for History are in 2012. There’s not much chance that any textbook publishers are going to rewrite books, supplementary materials, curriculum notes, etc. in less than 18 months (the adoption process starts in Jan-Feb and books are generally chosen in May). The next adoption wouldn’t be until at least 2020 (maybe even 2021).
I know a lot of Texas history teachers and they’re going to pretty much ignore the things that aren’t correct. Unlike some subjects, there’s just not as much controversy in Social Studies (at least according to those whose opinions I respect). So, they’ll pretty much teach history as reality versus the made up reality of the SBOE ‘consultants’. The teachers that aren’t knowledgeable about history will teach from the textbooks (see above).
Finally, I also know the people and process that write the tests that these students will take. There’s this department called ‘Fact Check’ and they are pretty serious. If there’s not a peer-reviewed scholarly article confirming a fact, then it’ll be sent back. The teachers are also involved in the process of the test questions and I don’t think they’ll let things just slide by. Also, it takes at least 24 months for test questions to go from first write to on an operational test.
So, While it makes my home state look like idiots (sigh), I really don’t think much will come of this. Hopefully, by the time, changes have a chance to be changed, we will have a new board that knows what the hell it’s talking about. If not, I’ll just move to Iowa.
BTW: I was a Texas science teacher for 5 years and involved in the Biology adoption in 2003 (I think it was ’03). Presently I work for the company that writes the TAKS, I don’t deal with the Texas project, but I am familiar with people and processes that are involved.