Perhaps we should look at Republican efforts to promote ignorance holistically, rather than piecemeal. This Texas law (and Texas is not alone) on what can and can’t be taught in public schools, is terrible. The never-ending election “audits” and promotion of the big lie, are terrible. The discrediting of medical science, the demonizing of Dr. Fauci, masks and the vaccines, the promotion of quack cures like horse dewormer, are all terrible. The constant attacks on mainstream media are terrible. The attacks on climate science are terrible. I could list many more - attacks on “the elites”, on education itself, on Black Lives Matter, etc. Each time these individual attacks happen, we focus on that specific issue - Critical Race Theory in schools, for example. Maybe we should zoom out. Considered together, these individual attacks comprise a broader attack on knowledge, on intelligence, on facts and science. Is there a document somewhere, in the Koch brothers’ file cabinets, or Roger Ailes’ credenza, or Mitch McConnell’s desk drawer, that outlines this broader strategy? It might be titled “How to build a compliant base” and it’s table of contents would have chapters like “Destroy expertise, undermine science, revise history, dismantle public education, tear down mainstream media, discredit democracy, establish a theocracy, etc.” It sure looks like Republican leaders, with their allies in “christian” fundamentalism, big business and right-wing media, are out to systematically undo the Enlightenment itself, and restore the Dark Ages.

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I have so much to say about this! But I’ve been told by a co worker that my comments here can make me a target of the new conservative school board. Not only is the teaching affected, our freedom of speech is, as well. Two years ago, I thought I had my dream job. Now what?

Administrators are scrambling to try and figure this all out. I would not have handled it this way to record a training session, and take it to the media. The teacher association definitely! This was not a problem solving tactic. But teachers are backed into a corner and terrified. Hopefully it will have a positive effect in the long run. Schools all over Texas are in the same quagmire. We need this house bill to be overturned and make it go away. And several other house bills! The force that got originalist on our school board needs to be met with an equal push back! Let’s hope for some common decency and common sense to return to education.

Thank you, Heather

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One thing jumped out this morning. The fact they cut out Abigail Adams brought back the memory of listening to “1776” by David McCullough. My wife and I listened while on a road trip. I made the comment that it was Abigail who made the greatest impression on me. The power of women has never been more needed than now.

I learned another salient fact this morning listening to “The End of White Christian America” by Robert P Jones. In 2014 when the Republicans took back the Senate and the House, the SINGLE largest factor was historically poor turnout to vote. So the lesson is obvious and the solution is glaring.

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Thank you Dr. Richardson.

When "No Child Left Behind" came along with President G.W. Bush, most of my faculty referred to it as "No Teacher Left Standing." The push for state wide competency exams took away so much precious time for curriculum. I retired in 2005 and a couple of years prior to that we noticed an upswing in angry parents tied to those who listened to Glen Beck and Rush L. In fact,

a Social Studies teacher on my team was transferred to another school and was given an assignment to teach Science in lieu of Social Studies. The seeds for today's horror were planted so long ago.

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All of the previous comments have made so many great points. My father had a history text from his school years called "Great Names in American History" that recounted a handful of acts of a handful of predictable notables in superlatives and simplistic breathy admiration. We were in college when we discovered it among the many books in our family library and howling with laughter we read choice bits aloud to each other before dinner that night. We renamed it "Great Inanes..." and started listing who we'd add, which was a lot of fun. As we sat down to eat, a visiting friend said, "Imagine if you were a teacher and that book is all you could teach your class." The rest of the meal was spent in quite a different way. The Texas law smacks of Soviet information control too-- The willingness to go to extreme effort to rewrite history, as an anecdote told by a escaped history professor went" When Beria was no longer a hero of the republic, every household was sent a packet containing razor blade to remove the Beria entry from their official copy of the Soviet encyclopedia and substitute pages that provided additional information about the Bering Strait. May we all be vigilant

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This is the first time I've read the breadth of history whitewashing in Texas. Are we in a computer simulation of life in Orwell's "1984"? Or rocketed back in time to historical revisionism in the communist Soviet Union? Is the party of limited government saying that the government controls what people are allowed to learn, to decide for themselves who to admire or revile? Is the party that champions individual freedom like a religion now saying that it and only it decides what freedom is?

I'm guessing that the coming mass book burnings won't be blamed for contributing to climate change, which eventually won't be taught either.

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It should be noted that the most common "opposing perspective" on the Holocaust is not support for the murder of 6 million Jews (although some twisted minds do) but rather denial that the Holocaust occurred. Fortunately, General Eisenhower, upon visiting Dachau immediately reacted: "I sent communications to both Washington and London, urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt.”

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The Texas legislature has gone completely off the deep end. Remember, these are the same lawmakers who have essentially legalized terrorism in their twisted efforts to stop abortion. They have enabled any anti-choice goon to bring financial destruction down on anyone who assists a Texas woman in obtaining an abortion. This is the work of depraved authoritarians and will not end well, in Texas or any of the other radical Republican states that adopt their insane, scorched-earth politics and tactics. I fear for my children and grandchild.

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90% of Poland’s Jewish population of three million perished during the Holocaust. I am a child of two of those survivors, conceived in a displaced persons’ camp, lucky to pop out in NYC, carried in utero by my mother who came to America with my father. May both Rest In Peace.

My parents would roll over in their graves if they knew what is going on in one Texas school district. With Texas’ assault on voting rights and abortion and whatever else receives scant coverage in the press, my thought, though not politic, is that we might consider giving Texas back to Mexico and give Dreamer status to those more tolerant who want to honor the American dream.

These people are an abomination to the concept of freedom and all that makes America exceptional.

During the McCarthy period, there was a school district in Indiana which banned Robin Hood because it preached the Communist line. Are we approaching that kind of thought police when we cannot even accept historical facts.

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As a retired math teacher, I can’t wait for the Texas legislature to discover that the number system we use today, the Arabic-Hindu system, was developed by non-Christians, or that the word ‘algebra’ comes from the Arabic word ‘al-jabr’! Instead of permitting the use of a system with ten numerals (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0) that revolutionized and simplified mathematics in the western world, we’d be forced to return to using the more clumsy Roman numeral system.

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Wouldn't Mein Kampf be an opposing view to Ann Frank's Diary? I would be fine with students understanding the republican playbook in the original. But schools teach a lot of subjects besides history. Does chemistry need an opposing view, perhaps alchemy or witchcraft? Does physical education need to include works extolling sloth? Where does this nonsense lead?

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Not to steal Daria's thunder, but her post on LFAA 9-10-21 stuck in my craw. Texas' control over curriculum has insidious and far-reaching tentacles across to other states, back in time for 20 years, and worst, for brainwashing the upcoming generation. Texas because of its size (second largest state in the country) has been driving reactionary revisions of public school textbooks across the country--for decades. Her mother saw it as a teacher in Maryland in the 60s and 70s.

What motivated the Gablers, from Texas Monthly, 1982:

"Norma and Mel Gabler entered the field of textbook reform twenty years ago, after their son Jim came home from school disturbed at discrepancies between the 1954 American history text his eleventh-grade class was using and what his parents had taught him. The Gablers compared his text to history books printed in 1885 and 1921 and discovered differences.



Ten to fifteen years of brainwashing created an army of children conscripted to be fanatic frontline soldiers programmed to not question authority and to die for Hitler.

"Nazi indoctrination of antisemitic attitudes in Germany was extremely effective." And continues.


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Precious and beloved Heather, my deepest gratitude to you for all your courageous truths. There are things I would never know, if not for the lifeline of your letters. I am ever thankful for you and your work on behalf of truth and democracy and the American people. You are a gift of and to the universe. Endless blessings upon you.

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Taking Responsibility For Your Own Education

I had an opportunity this weekend to discuss with my daughter an experience her own daughter is having in school. We talked for awhile about her own discovery during her childhood that she had educators who were actually preventing her from learning things she was coming to understand diminished her understanding of the world and it’s truths. We recounted conversations she and I had at that point in her life about the importance of taking responsibility herself for her education, the importance of that, and how to go about it. We discussed that it was likely time for her to have those same conversations with her daughter and how to go about that.

I hope you will all forgive me for recounting some of that conversation with my daughter here. However, as I see Texas educators today taking active steps to deliberately and intentionally preventing our children from learning truths that may conflict with the educators own limited views of the world, I feel it is worth stepping back to think carefully about what that means for our children’s education and their future.

Without recounting the specific experiences that led med to this conclusion, I realized as a fairly young child that the choices made by others for me as a child prevented me from learning important truths. I concluded I had to take greater responsibility for my education. I have chosen carefully the characterization of “preventing me from learning important truths.” This expresses the fact that these were deliberate acts by teachers and education administrators to exclude from my education certain truths and facts that conflicted with the educators’ views of the world. That exclusion was their conscious choice not mine. They made those decisions “for my benefit” to prevent me from exploring ideas they felt might be harmful.

When I realized this even at a young age, I discussed this seriously with my Dad. He was a very good and wise person who had come to a similar conclusion at a young age. My Dad explained that these educators had made these decisions not to protect me, but to protect themselves and their own version of truth. We explored together how I could take more responsibility for my own education and make my own choices about what to explore, what to read, who to listen and speak with, and how to develop my own views about what understanding the world and its wonders and truths really meant. Those important conversations with my Dad both changed and have guided my life. They were invaluable and I have tried to have similar conversation with my own children and now my grandchildren as well.

I have urged others to avoid robbing our children of the magic of exploring the world and knowledge. There should be no single version of truth handed to anyone without the opportunity to explore different ideas and contrasting views. Give our young the freedom to make responsible choices. Do not hide truths or history because you think it might not be pretty or conform to a view of the world to which you may not subscribe. Do not prevent our young from learning. And, importantly remember yourself that you also must continue to be curious, eager to explore new ideas and topics. Don’t ever stop learning simply because someone gave you a piece of paper that says you have “graduated” and therefore your education is “completed.”

Each day is a new opportunity to explore a new topic, to wander in a yet unexplored area of the world of wonder about you, to talk to someone about their experiences, to learn something new, to try out something for the first time. How does that new experience or perspective feel? Does it conform to or contrast with your own view of the world? How does it fit with what you thought was true?

What most characterize as an education is more often simply the imprisonment of a mind. It denies one the opportunity to explore the world and prevents someone from experiencing the magic and wonder of discovery. How tragic that we cheat ourselves and our children of that magic and joy.

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Here is my idea of the opposing side to the Holocaust. If Hitler had not been put in power. If Hitler had been destroyed. If 6 million people had not died. What would’ve happened to the world. What kind of music would’ve been created. What kind of art would’ve been created. What kind of science would’ve been created. What kind of an economy would have been established. What the educational system would’ve looked like. If Hitler had not been put into power. Could we say the atomic Bomb would not have been created. If Hitler had not been put into power. Did the violence created by Germany encourage the Japanese to bombed the United States……..What if that has not happened.

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These are the kinds of stories we used to hear about Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, while our parents and grandparents celebrated that it would never happen here.

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