A Fact Free Debate

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Posted on : 5/25/2010 07:55:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Sadly, that seems to be what some folks want to have these days. The most recent evidence of that is this recent story in the Washington Post that suggests that the Texas state school board's curriculum changes are harbingers of the end of our Republic.

The WaPo editors and writers are apparently unconcerned about the lack of facts and outright errors in that article. Error number one occurs in paragraph number one:

The Texas state school board gave final approval Friday to controversial social studies standards that minimize the separation of church and state and say that America is not a democracy but a "constitutional republic."

We are a "constitutional republic". That is a very specific form of democracy that is designed to limit the size and scope of government. We are not a democracy and we would rue the day should we ever become one. The tyranny of the majority occurs in the 51st voting percentile.

Ann Althouse has a great run down on the other errors in the WaPo's hit piece.

I'm not wildly in favor of all of the changes to the Texas curriculum. But most of them do seem to be aimed at restoring some historical accuracy that has been lost over the years.

This hit piece of the Texas curriculum reforms is ridiculous:

"In this kind of world where knowledge is growing, we should be paying more attention to how to help students deal with knowledge, helping them understand it," he said. "There's nothing in the standards that would help someone Google search George Washington... how do I know which is the good one? That's the kind of skill I think we have the opportunity to teach and we're missing the opportunity."

Well, perhaps if schools taught enough factual information about George Washington, then students would be able to recognize a good search result as opposed to a bad one. But no, instead of History Class focusing on actual historical figures, lets have History Class be about the proper uses of Google.

Is it too much to ask that this sort of media criticism actually cite the offending passages? Is it too much to ask that they link to the entire document?

Or.....not unlike the recent imperfect immigration legislation passed in Arizona or the Citizens United Supreme Court decision....is it enough to simply "feel" that a decision is bad without actually bothering to read it? At what point did it become acceptable to launch into criticizing public policies without first reading, comprehending, and analyzing them?

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