A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune survey shows just how destructive a politicized right-wing curriculum can be. A large number of Texans polled said they still don’t believe in evolution and are convinced that humans and dinosaurs co-existed:
— 51 percent disagree with the statement, “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”
— 38 percent agree with the statement, “God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago.”
— 30 percent agree with the statement, “Humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time.” Another 30 percent said they “don’t know” whether the statement is true.
Refusing to believe in evolution is a point of pride for many conservatives, who are also trying to indoctrinate young people with their same misguided views. The right-wing Texas State Board of Education has been reviewing the direction of the state’s social studies curriculum and textbook standards. Some of their changes include adding “causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s,” “documents that supported Cold War-era Sen. Joseph McCarthy,” and how to “differentiate between legal and illegal immigration.”
In terms of textbook standards, as Texas goes, so goes the nation. The state “is one of the nation’s biggest buyers of textbooks.” Publishers are often “reluctant to produce different versions of the same material,” and therefore create books in line with Texas’ standards. (HT: Daily Kos)