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Back to the clown show

So here’s a bunch of coverage from yesterday’s SBOE hearings: from the Chron, the DMN, the Statesman, the Trib, TFN, and BOR. Very short summary: Many people testified. Some said crazy things. Others begged the SBOE to not enshrine crazy things in the standard social studies curriculum. Some Democratic lawmakers reminded the SBOE that funding for new textbooks is not assured, so maybe they ought to rethink the whole enshrining-crazy-things-in-the-standard-social-studies-curriculum idea. The SBOE responded by sticking out its tongue and saying “NEENER NEENER NEENER!” I think that about covers it.

So on we go from there, with more debate and the expected vote on Friday. In the meantime, TFN released some interesting poll results this morning:

Texas voters believe the public school curriculum should be set by teachers and scholars, not politicians. Nearly three-quarters of Texas voters (72 percent) say that teachers and academic scholars should be responsible for writing curriculum standards and textbook requirements for Texas’ public schools. Only 19 percent prefer that an elected school board decide curriculum.

Support for teachers and experts making curriculum decisions is broad, extends across partisan lines, and includes parents of young children. Self-identified Republicans (63 percent) and political independents (76 percent) agree that politicians should not decide the content of children’s education. Overall, 78 percent of parents prefer that teachers and scholars make curriculum decisions, with 69 percent feeling that way strongly.

The majority of Texas voters believe that separation of church and state is a key principle of the Constitution. Sixty-eight percent of likely voters agree that it is a core principle, including 51 percent who strongly agree. Only one-quarter of voters (26 percent) disagree that the separation of church and state is a key principle of the Constitution.

Agreement about the separation of church and state as a core tenet of the Constitution extends across party lines. Nearly 6-in-10 Republicans (59 percent) believe in the importance of this principle, as well as 76 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of political independents.

You can see more at the link. I’ll be honest, if you had asked me yesterday what percentage of the public I thought believed that “separation of church and state is a key principle of the Constitution”, I’d have pegged it in the 35-40% range. Not to put too fine a point on it, but a lot of people are pretty hazy about what’s in the Constitution and what it means. I’d feel better about this result if I thought it would translate to better electoral results in SBOE races, but too often that connection fails to be made. Happily, this year has been somewhat of an exception to that so far. May it continue on in November.

Anyway. Your liveblogging from TFN is here and here. I missed including Steven Schafersman and his work for the Observer yesterday – you can see that effort here, and today’s here. I found that via Martha, who’s also busy covering the hearings, with most of her updates on Twitter. Other updates can be found on Texas Politics and Postcards.

UPDATE: Still more from TFN. Gonna be a late night.

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  1. Jack Cluth says:

    I don’t miss Texas, but man, do I miss Texas politics. By comparison, politics here in Oregon is about as exciting as watching paint dry. ‘Course, no one here is trying to “enshrine crazy things in the standard social studies curriculum.”

    Party on, Garth…. 😉

  2. Mainstream says:

    The problem with a poll about “separation of church and state” is that to religious conservatives this means that their church should not have to hire a nonbeliever as janitor, pay any taxes on their land, meet ADA standards for their day care center, refrain from proselytizing when doing publicly funded services like counseling or homeless care. To liberals it might mean being required to hire the non-believer as janitor, being prohibited from proselytizing when funded from public sources, etc.