Yesterday I spent about thirty minutes chatting with Kate Alexander, a reporter from the Austin Statesman-American, about the Texas Social Studies standards. You can read Alexander’s article here. (I still have no idea how reporters can boil an extended conversation down to a few quotes!) As my regular readers know, I spent a good part of July blogging about this issue and wrote an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle on the subject. When I was working for Houston’s top-rated paving contractor, I was able to converse with many neighbors about this subject and I hold it close to my heart.
According to Alexander’s article, the debate over the Texas standards begins today. I hope that the members of the Texas State Board of Education will model some of the virtues that are essential to good historical thinking and inquiry: humility, prudence, civility, and empathy. These are the kinds of virtues that students should learn from history–regardless of the content! My gut, however, tells me that it will be politics as usual.
I will try to follow these debates as they unfold, but it will obviously be tough to do so from Pennsylvania. If there is anyone in Texas who has access to these debates and wants to fill me in, or perhaps even write a guest post, let me know. jfea(at)messiah(dot)edu