Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chow Mein Useful, Kung Pao Chicken Not So Much

This week the Texas State Board of Eduction is doing all they can to make sure that the children of Texas and good and dumb. Every year they make progress toward this goal. Some years they insist on taking the science out of science books or approving history books that have hundreds of errors. This year, it is making sure kids only read the right kind of books. The fact that they are coming up with a state approved list won't matter so much because the rest of their plan pretty much ensures that the kids won't be able to read the books on that list anyway.

But let's talk about this book list even though no one will be able to read the books on it. When teachers skipped school on Wednesday to come to Austin to testify in opposition to the new plan to dumb down our kids, certain members of the board made it really clear that there was no problem with this list even though it is almost completely void of contemporary authors and books that might be remotely multi-cultural in nature. Of course, it isn't a surprise that the SBOE would think that the required reading list should be completely white bread in nature. These are the same people that believe that evolution is a myth and that “embarrassing” illustrations of breast and testicular self-exams for cancer detection should be deleted from health textbooks. They also approved math books that had 109,263 errors. In 2003, the SBOE declared the history books they approved to be error free and yet there were still 243 errors. And even if you don't live in Texas, you should be worried. Because we purchase so many textbooks, our decisions dictate what books are sold to the schools in your state.

But none of this to do about the stupid book list is a surprise especially when you have a board chairman like like Don McLeroy. When discussing the state approved book list he said the following:

"What good does it do to put a Chinese story in an English book?" he said. "You learn all these Chinese words, OK. That's not going to help you master ... English. So you really don't want Chinese books with a bunch of crazy Chinese words in them. Why should you take a child's time trying to learn a word that they'll never ever use again?"

He added that some words — such as chow mein — might be useful.

No wonder the kids in this state are fucking stupid.


mad said...

That's pretty shortsighted of the guy. I guess he doesn't realize that we've borrowed so much money from China to pay for the war that in the not-too-distant future China will own us. Not to mention that those, ahem, error free textbooks were probably printed in China!

Jill said...

To paraphrase Kinky Freidman, you can lead Don McLeroy to the books but you cant make him learn. Doesn't say much for those who write them either.

Only Grrrl said...

you know, in my entire life i don't think i've ever said the words "chow mein" aloud to anyone. useful can it be? Now, "Fuck YOU!"......that's useful, and way more frequently apropos........let us all communicate effectively......Teach the children of the world to say......."Bush bad, Cheney pale white, China for nice table settings". Language is a wonderful thing.

pineapple said...

mad: there are many things that pud is completely unaware.

jill: no shit. couldn't have said it better.

only grrrl: that is way too complicated for the idiots that decide what school children are learning. and "fuck" is one of the most useful words ever. It is among one of my favorites.

Only Grrrl said...

In case you didn't figure it out... the earlier posting was actually Nervana POSING as Only Grrrl... confusing, huh? This time it's really me... and all I can say is... what she said!

pineapple said...

you people are fucking with my head. and it is confusing. you have to remember I, too, am a victim of the Texas public school system. but I still love you both.

Only Grrrl said...

Individuation is overrated.

Only Grrrl said...'s me. not her....and i don't even KNOW the word "individuation"......sounds made-up and.....part of academicrap. and hey!......SHE's the one who created this identity confusion. Children should not play with their mother's toys.

pineapple said...

only grrrl: "Individuation is overrated" would make a great t-shirt or bumper sticker. and who ever you are, I love you much!

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