Truth or Consequence

This publication was originally printed in the Texas Federation of Republican Women’s Issues and Actions newsletter.

During the last few months, a small group of people here in Texas has been fighting valiantly against a dangerous but very subtle, threat to our nation from within. These Texas heroes are trying to prevent science textbooks from being approved by the State Board of Education that are full of error, unsupported extremist environmental bias, and occasional anti-American rhetoric.

The Textbook Review Process: In November, the State Board of Education (SBOE) will be approving science textbooks. The textbooks that are adopted will probably be used for the next 6-8 years. As is usual, the textbooks are available for the public to review. Approval by the SBOE is an indication to the local school boards that a particular textbook meets the minimum criteria of the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and is appropriate for use in the classroom. When the local school board selects its textbooks, it receives lists of conforming and non-conforming textbooks. The local school board is free to choose any textbook it prefers, but the list is influential in the decision-making process.

In the Texas Election Code (TEC) 28001, the SBOE and local school districts are required to “foster the continuation of the tradition of teaching US and Texas History and the free enterprise system in regular subject matter…and in the adoption of textbooks. A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.”

Science Textbooks: Individual citizens and several organizations, including Citizens for a Sound Economy, and Texas Public Policy Foundation, to name a few, have been engaged in reviewing the science textbooks over the last few months. At a hearing last month they aired their findings to the SBOE. Their findings should be a cause for major concern to every parent, grandparent and teacher in the state of Texas, as well every person concerned that his or her tax dollar is spent for the benefit of the country, and not destructively.

The textbooks present as fact many issues that are still being studied by scientists, and about which scientists themselves do not agree. In other areas, there appears to be a blatant disregard for truth, and an effort to lead students to believe as fact theories that science has already disproved. Instead of encouraging students to do research or conduct studies of their own, the textbooks encourage students to become activists for the environmental left, a totally inappropriate approach for a supposedly “balanced” textbook. The textbooks are full of misinformation and error about scientific principles.

Hegelian Dialectic: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a noted German philosopher whose work greatly influenced Karl Marx. During the last century, socialists have used the Hegelian Dialectic to change the thinking of entire cultures. The Hegelian Dialectic offers a thesis, an antithesis, and resolves the argument between the two with a synthesis, which is presented to avoid a crisis. The crisis is often designed for the purpose of getting acceptance of the synthesis.

Example: Americans believe in private property (thesis). The socialists put forth the concept of communal property, which is totally unacceptable to the American people (antithesis). An environmental crisis (either real or designed) emerges, and we lose some of our private property rights to resolve the supposed crisis (synthesis). The battle over property rights brought about by the golden-cheeked warbler is a good example of the Hegelian Dialectic in action. The people losing their property rights fight valiantly, but the rest of us stoically accept this new definition of private property (i.e., property which the government now regulates and which can no longer be used in a manner freely determined by its owner.)

In this example, the socialists have moved Americans away from their belief in private property freely held and freely managed by its owner, towards an acceptance of government-regulated property, or property which is no longer entirely private. Notice that the socialists give up nothing in this scenario. Before the Hegelian Dialectic was applied, we all believed in private property, and rejected outright the idea of communal property. After application of the Hegelian Dialectic, we have given up the concept of true private property and moved a meaningful step towards a socialist concept of property ownership.

Textbooks and the Hegelian Dialectic: The Science textbooks that are being reviewed use the Hegelian Dialectic over and over again to influence our children away from the principles of a Constitutional Republic and toward the principles of a socialist global government. Example: “Building a sustainable society will require a restructuring of human systems…will require profound changes in our understanding of issues through education. Changes in values are essential.”

The books are full of environmental crises that are for the most part manufactured so the student will agree to depart from the traditional American values of God, country, and constitution, and accept in their place New Age thinking, global governance and Agenda 21. Example: “Today, Spaceship Earth is in trouble. Its climate is in danger…Its life-support systems…are being destroyed…at a record pace. Tens of thousands of species are doomed for extinction…How did we end up in such a precarious situation?”

The books distort the truth. In discussion about acid rain, some of the publishers ignore findings of the largest study of acid rain ever conducted, the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP), completed in 1990 and reaffirmed in 1998. Instead, they present as fact information contradicting NAPAP findings. In one student activity, students are told to place one penny in tap water and one penny in vinegar and let them stand overnight, to observe the effects of acid rain on metals. They are not told that vinegar is approximately 20 times more acidic than the most acidic rain!

I have a friend who relates the following story: One rainy morning he left for work a bit late in order to give his son a ride to school. The car was parked outside. He opened the garage door, and when the rain slowed down a bit, he told his son to run for the car. He himself dashed to the car, but when he stopped to get in, his son was still standing in the doorway, crying. He ran back to his son and gently asked him what was wrong. Between sobs, his son said he was afraid to go out into the rain, because it was acid rain and it would hurt him! That day, he removed his son from the public school and enrolled him in a private school. I wonder if the son had placed a penny in vinegar, to observe the effects of acid rain!

The various textbooks provide a great deal of misinformation to students. For example, regarding rainforest destruction, one book says that 130,000 km. are destroyed every year, and at this rate all tropical rain forests will be gone in 30 years. Another textbook states that 310,000 km. of rainforest is cut down every year. A third textbook states that 30,000 sq. km. of forest was destroyed in 1995. In addition to these obvious conflicting “facts”, there is no discussion of the success of reforestation in most of the textbooks.

The textbook authors claim the textbooks are balanced in their presentations, thereby making the student more vulnerable to believing the theories presented are fact, and not open to question. While some of the textbooks actually do attempt a balanced presentation in some areas, bias is evident in every one of the reviewed books.

In places, some of the textbooks suggest the student become an activist for the “green movement”. In a few places, the student is actually encouraged to donate money to the cause! What an inappropriate use of tax dollars!

Analysis: Given the requirements the TEC places on the SBOE, it seems SBOE would reject many of the current textbooks for reasons given in this paper. However, it appears that some SBOE members will vote to approve the textbooks on the basis that they conform to TEKS, whether or not they undermine patriotism, the free enterprise system, and/or the “basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.”

Not just the children of Texas will be impacted by the SBOE’s decision. Because of the massive buying power of Texas, the books we select will usually be offered to all states for purchase.

Action: The Republican Party of Texas has called for a delay in approval of the science textbooks, and for very careful review before adoption to assure quality in the approved textbooks. It is essential that we contact every SBOE member before the November SBOE meeting and assure them that we expect them to reject textbooks that do not conform to the TEC requirements of error-free books that teach the importance of patriotism and appreciation for basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.

Knowing that there will be much lobbying and that big dollars are at stake, we may be unsuccessful at the state level. I therefore encourage Republican Women Clubs across Texas to get involved in review of the textbooks in their local school districts. In fact, I believe that this is an area we might encourage TFRW and NFRW to add to the awards programs. What a wonderful project to impact the future of our children’s lives and the future of America!

I have asked Citizens for a Sound Economy to provide us with information on what to look for in the textbooks and how to go about making the review. The textbooks will probably be available for review in your local school districts sometime around January. Please make every effort to get involved in this important effort to provide quality education to our young people!

As I am writing this paper, the television news in the family room pours out information about the terrible tragedy that has just hit our country. My heart breaks for the thousands of lives that have been destroyed by this useless act of hatred and cruelty. America is a country based on Judeo-Christian principles and values. It is hard for us to imagine a philosophy of life that celebrates such acts of infamy. We need to get down on our knees and thank God for the gift He has given us in this beautiful country that stands alone among the countries of the world in the God-given liberties it recognizes and protects.

Make use of those liberties and pass the torch of freedom to our young people, while we still can. Become involved in taking care of your country. You will be glad you did!