Posted: March 22, 2010
History professor and textbook author Daniel Czitrom has weighed in on a textbook controversy in the Lone Star State. His opinion piece on the issue was posted on CNN's Web site on March 22. On March 18, he was interviewed on the issue by CNN's Ali Velshi. This double dose of CNN follows on the heels of the New York Times publication, on March 15, of his letter addressing conservative efforts to shape texts used in public schools.
In his CNN opinion piece, "Texas School Board Whitewashes History," Czitrom pulls no punches, writing in part:
"Historians and teachers have reason to be deeply concerned over the latest actions taken by the Texas Board of Education regarding social studies curriculum standards.
"The board has moved aggressively to put its hard-right conservative stamp on what students need to learn about the American past. Among the changes made by the board was the elimination of Thomas Jefferson from a list of thinkers who had inspired revolutions around the world. Conservatives object to Jefferson's support for a clear separation of church and state.
"This trend is troubling in terms of the writing and the teaching of U.S. history."