Friday, October 03, 2014
TX State Board of Education and the Civil War
Texans must be sick of the constant fighting by the State Board of Education over the content of texts for public schools. If only they spent this much energy on trying to improve education. Given that we are in the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and in an effort to get some comments going, I offer the following. One the many controversial issues in texts involves the causes of the civil war. According to the Dallas Morning News, SMU historian Edward Countryman concluded:
“The combination of incoherence, poor construction and attempted indoctrination is clear” in several of the books, Countryman said.
For example, he said, some of the history books closely follow the state board’s curriculum requirement that the causes of the Civil War be taught in this order: sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery.
“Any serious historian knows that slavery was the fundamental driving issue of the war,” Countryman said."
What's your take on the Civil War? What factor should be #1?