I said I’d post my thoughts on the Texas curriculum issue, so here goes:
My opinion is that whatever they teach kids in schools is going to have less and less relation to what kids actually learn and do. The reason is the internet. Back in the old days, public school had a real chance of shaping a kid’s outlook on the world. Now, a student can just roam around on Wikipedia and learn whatever it is he/she wants to know.*
I’ve long thought that our whole model of public education is being rendered obsolete by this fact. So, it doesn’t really matter if you teach only your “Conservative” or “Liberal” or whatever biases–anybody who actually cares about it will eventually read about it online. And when you go to read about, say, Friedrich Hayek, you’ll end up finding out about a lot of his critics, too.
The real danger is that schools will eventually figure this out, and try to keep students from accessing the internet at any time and from any place. But people won’t tolerate that.
So, while this decision speaks volumes about the character and integrity of those who made it, I personally don’t think it will end up being that damaging. Most students are smarter than we give them credit for, and they know when they’re being lied to or misled.
*Some will point out that Wikipedia is unreliable because it is edited by anonymous people who don’t have to provide credentials. To which I can only quote William F. Buckley’s line “I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.” and add that it applies equally to the Texas State Board of Education and its ilk.