We've blogged a lot about the flap over the changes for social studies textbooks proposed by the overly influential Texas State Board of Education. As of now, those alterations, which include discussing the country's Founding Fathers' fondness for God and the scrubbing of the intentions behind Sen. Joe McCarthy's Communist witch hunt, are scheduled to be up for vote next month.
But Bill White, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, is calling for that vote to be delayed until the board, chosen by the people of Texas in November's elections, is seated early next year. Key members of a far-right faction of the SBOE, which is responsible for pushing through the bulk of these changes, lost primary elections this spring and are trying to make sure their presence is felt long after they're gone.
A spokesman for White's campaign told the AP
Texas voters have voted against those who are extreme and hyper-political. ... If Rick Perry won't show some leadership about the process, he should at least respect Texans who've said they don't want the current, controversial SBOE making decisions about their children's future.
Perry responded through a spokesperson of his own, saying that the process was working the way it should be.
This latest scuttlebutt in the controversy comes as a Evan Smith, editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, writes this week in Newsweek about how the SBOE's mandates, which will likely affect many children outside of Texas, is just part of the Texas way of doing things:
Remember (would we ever let you forget?) that this is a state that was once a nation. It's a "whole other country," as the tourism slogan boasts, and a wicked independent streak remains a defining—perhaps the defining —feature of our character. Texas and Texans have never cottoned to answering to outsiders. We don't like being told what to do. And we don't like it when our ability to chart our own course, to control our own destinies or the way we live our lives, is in any way hampered.