The Real Indoctrination Threat.

Republicans worry that President Obama telling schoolchildren to work hard, in a televised address, is "socialist indoctrination." But what about conservative indoctrination, the kind the Texas Board of Education is considering? Justin Elliott of TPM reports:

The first draft of the [new] standards, released at the end of July, is a doozy. It lays out a kind of Human Events version of U.S. history. Approved textbooks, the standards say, must teach the Texan student to "identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority." No analogous liberal figures or groups are required, prompting protests from some legislators and committee members. (Read an excerpt here.)

The standards on Nixon: "describe Richard M. Nixon's role in the normalization of relations with China and the policy of detente." On Reagan: "describe Ronald Reagan's role in restoring national confidence, such as Reaganomics and Peace with Strength." (That's it.)

This story reminds us why the new push for national curriculum standards -- led by the bipartisan National Governors' Association and supported by the Obama administration -- is so important. Texas, unsurprisingly, is one of just four states choosing not to participate in that project. The others are Alaska, Missouri, and South Carolina. If 46 states can come together around core standards, it means a populous, outlier state like Texas will have less influence over textbook manufacturers. And if this curriculum passes, that will be a very good thing.

--Dana Goldstein

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