Extremist may not be a strong enough word to describe the education critics who met recently in Austin to rail at the modern world, castigate compromise and entertain the idea of jailing teachers who dared to use the Common Core in their classrooms.
There were only a few dozen individuals at this particular conference, according to the Texas Observer article linked below, and their mindset was trapped in a time warp just this side of the Middle Ages. But, what’s scary is that their views are increasingly taking over the Texas Republican Party and, with it, Texas government.
In fact, at least two of the attendees – state Rep. Bill Zedler of Arlington and Eagle Forum leader Cathie Adams – are prominent in the ultraconservative GOP wing, and Adams is a former chairwoman of the Texas Republican Party.
Scarier still for those of you who know anything about Zedler and Adams is that, according to the Observer, those two were the “relative moderates” in the room.
The group’s basic beef was against Common Core, the national curriculum standards being pushed by the federal government but outlawed by the Texas Legislature, even though many of the standards are incorporated in Texas’ TEKS curriculum standards.
Even reasonable minds can disagree over what should or shouldn’t be in Common Core and whether the federal government should be involved in promoting it. But to members of this particular group, Common Core represents everything they view as wrong with the world, beginning with public school classrooms – including evolution, acceptance of climate change, sex education, social justice, homosexuality and anything smacking of diversity.
“You use Common Core, you go to jail,” one woman declared, obviously wondering where the Storm Troopers and the Thought Police were when she needed them.