Lenin does Dallas
No rational person would believe Texas Republicans would call for Marxist economics to be taught in Texas high schools, not even as a part of a “teach the controversy” movement.
The one-semester economics class does not lend itself to giving students backgrounds in economic models that compete with the consensus, free-market view, and even if it did, Marxism would be way down the list of what most Texans would think appropriate to teach. For illustration, consider that when the Soviet Union broke up, a Soviet-produced statute of Lenin was purchased by a Dallas hamburger magnate, placed outside one of his outlets with a plaque commemorating the Cold War, and noting: “America won.” (Alas, Goff’s is gone, as is the statue.)
So, either the Texas Republicans have gone non-rational, or they just were not thinking when they put in their party platform a requirement that alternative theories and their controversies be taught, in social studies.
But why is this provision regarding social studies tucked into the platform point on “Theories of Origins”? Apparently it reflects an agenda that includes teaching from a creationist standpoint not only in science, but in social studies and other subjects as well.
Someone who’s familiar with curriculum conflicts over recent years will recognize the entire education section of the platform as coming chapter and verse from Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. The agenda they are pushing here is not something home-grown in Texas, but an agenda that we can expect to see being advanced all over the United States.
Well, Texas politics being what it is, the likelihood that a plank from any party’s platform could make it into law is a bit remote right now. And it seems clear that the intent was to go after science and evolution, not economics. Udall’s Law of Unintended Consequences says such efforts will produce unexpected and undesired results, and here we have a good case in point.
People are gearing up for fights on history and biology texts in Texas — economics, too? Ouch.