Have the AP or Denver Post Actually Read the New Texas Curriculum?

Probably no more than Janet Napolitano or Eric Holder has read the new Arizona SB1070.  Ann Althouse has described the Washington Post's dereliction of duty in its description of the Texas curriculum.  The AP articles are no better.In two articles over the last two weeks, the AP has written the following (sometimes more than once) about the new Texas curriculum:

A far-right faction of the Texas State Board of Education gained a giant step forward Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.  (Emphasis added.  Nothing like setting the tone up front.)Teachers in Texas will probably be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers — but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than as "democratic."Students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.Students [will] be required to explain the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politicsFormer Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir [will] be required learning (these last two are listed together, as though to imply an excessive interest in Israel; if only the AP applied the same standards to the UN)Amend or water down the teaching of the civil rights movement, slavery ("amend" is a neutral term; here it's used to mean "water-down")They also required that public school students in Texas evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty

Looking at the actual curriculum documents (elementary school, middle school, high school, and economics), here's what they actually say about these issues:

Teachers in Texas will probably be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers — but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.

Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than as "democratic."  (In fact, we are a "constitutional republic," and the term, "democratic" is all through the curriculum, as in, "democratic process.")

Students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard. (In the context of a discussion of the Fed and the monetary system; assuming students can read a paper, they know that prices go up, which means that dollars buy less)

Economics. The student understands the role of the Federal Reserve System in establishing monetary policy. The student is expected to|(A) explain the structure of the Federal Reserve System(B) analyze the three basic tools used to implement U.S. monetary policy, including reserve requirements, the discount rate and the federal funds rate target, and open market operations(C) explain how the actions of the Federal Reserve System affect the nation's money supply; and (D) analyze the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard. 

Students [will] be required to explain the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics (wrong; this mis-states what's required, and although one might argue that the actual requirement is biased, there's nothing about the "impact on global politics," just a discussion of the conflict in context)

explain how Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict 

Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir [will] be required learning - this is in a section on important women in history, not tied to Israel, and in fact, does not require that the students learn about Golda Meir; she's listed as one of a number of possible subjects of study

Culture. The student understands the roles of women, children, and families in different historical cultures. The student is expected to:
  • (A) describe the changing roles of women, children, and families during major eras of world history; and
  • (B) describe the major influences of women during major eras of world history such as Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, and Golda Meir.

 

Amend or water down the teaching of the civil rights movement,...  (if this is watered-down, how much time were they spending on it before?)

History. The student understands the impact of the American civil rights movement. The student is expected to:(A) trace the historical development of the civil rights movement in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments;(B) describe the roles of political organizations that promoted civil rights, including ones from African American, Chicano, American Indian, women's, and other civil rights movements;(C) identify the roles of significant leaders who supported various rights movements, including Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, and Betty Friedan;(D) analyze the effectiveness of the approach taken by some civil rights groups such as the Black Panthers versus the philosophically persuasive tone of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail";(E) describe presidential actions and congressional votes to address minority rights in the United States, including desegregation of the armed forces, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965;(F) describe the role of individuals such as governors George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and Lester Maddox and groups, including the Congressional bloc of southern Democrats, that sought to maintain the status quo;(G) evaluate changes and events in the United States that have resulted from the civil rights movement, including increased participation of minorities in the political process; and(H) describe how litigation such as the landmark cases of Brown v. Board of Education, Mendez v. Westminster, Hernandez v. Texas, Edgewood I.S.D. v. Kirby, and Sweatt v. Painter played a role in protecting the rights of the minority during the civil rights movement. 

...slavery (no, it's in there, in both the state and national curriculum)

identify the causes of the Civil War, including sectionalism, states' rights, and slavery, and the effects of the Civil War, including Reconstruction and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution;...explain reasons for the involvement of Texas in the Civil War such as states' rights, slavery, sectionalism, and tariffs;...(B) compare the effects of political, economic, and social factors on slaves and free blacks;(C) analyze the impact of slavery on different sections of the United States 

They also required that public school students in Texas evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty

analyze the human and physical factors that influence the power to control territory, create conflict/war, and impact international political relations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), or the control of resources...(D) explain the significance of the League of Nations and the United Nations 
Describe the fundamental rights guaranteed by each amendment in the Bill of Rights, including freedom of religion, speech, and press; the right to assemble and petition the government; the right to keep and bear arms; the right to trial by jury; and the right to an attorney; Compare the causes, characteristics, and consequences of the American and French revolutions, emphasizing the role of the Enlightenment, the Glorious Revolution, and religion; Culture. The student understands the impact of religion on the American way of life. The student is expected to: (A) trace the development of religious freedom in the United States; (B) describe religious motivation for immigration and influence on social movements, including the impact of the first and second Great Awakenings; and (C) analyze the impact of the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom on the American way of life. (Intermediate school)