AMES: Texas Trounces the Left’s War on History

2nd  in Continuing Series: New Book documents how Texas high school history students preparing for college… reject the indoctrination of academia

By Bill Ames

This article is the introduction to the left’s overall war on America’s traditional values & culture. It’s a tale of how this larger war relates to the left’s War on History in Texas’ public schools.

Many of us have heard the story about the religious, politically conservative parents who brought up their daughter to love God and America.  Then she goes off to college.  After just one semester, she comes home and announces that she hates both.  

Thanks to conservative members of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), supported by hundreds of mainstream Texans, Texas high school graduates will be better equipped to reject the indoctrination agenda of leftist college professors. 

The reason: In 2010, the SBOE created a balanced social studies standards framework.

The battle fought to develop these standards is well documented in my new book, TEXAS TROUNCES THE LEFT’S WAR ON HISTORY. 

The SBOE standards teach our students that America’s good far outweighs her bad, that our Founding Principles, our Judeo-Christian heritage, our strong roots in Western Civilization, our work ethic, and our free market economy are the basis for 200-plus years of America’s greatness and leadership in the world. 

These principles will be the foundation for teaching U.S. history in Texas’ public schools for the next ten years.

I am hopeful that this positive view of history will carry our students through their college years, because America’s colleges and universities teach a different, darker view.

They opt for portraying America as an oppressive, exploitative, racist, imperialistic country, attempting to indoctrinate the student that there is no “social justice”, that opportunities for all do not exist, and that increased dependency on a socialist, and even Marxist government is the only solution.

SBOE member David Bradley, on the final day of the social studies standards negotiations in May, 2010, voiced his concern:

“We’ve done our job, but once these students step out of 12th grade, they’ll be thrown to the wolves”.

Who are the “wolves”?

The wolves are the leftist college and university professors, who, along with others, attempted to hijack Texas’ U. S. history standards in 2009 and 2010.  They attempted to create a framework to indoctrinate Texas students to view history through their own prism of contempt for America. 

Such professors overwhelmingly populate our nation’s colleges and universities.

Leftist professors were relentless in their attempts to revise American history.  Many testified at the SBOE hearings.  From my book, TEXAS TROUNCES THE LEFT’S WAR ON HISTORY:

“Emilio Zamora, who teaches history at the University of Texas, testified that the version of history taught at UT is much more inclusive than the proposed standards.  He scolded the Board, ‘You are lagging behind inclusive treatment of new textbooks’.” 

It occurred to me that professor Zamora and his UT history curriculum are the problem, not the solution.

Two other liberal professors were members of my U. S. history since 1877 review panel, which met during 2009 to review and revise the 1998 social studies standards.

One was Julio Noboa, an assistant professor of social studies at University of Texas, El Paso.  A portion of Mr. Naboa’s SBOE testimony, from my book, is clear evidence of how radical many of our college professors are:

“Naboa objected to students reciting passages from the Declaration of Independence, saying that it violates the very concept of freedom that   educators are attempting to uphold.” 

“Commenting on Islamic ‘terrorism’ in the standards, Noboa called for the inclusion of the U. S. Cavalry, the Texas Rangers, and other white supremacist Christian groups (his term) right here in our own country as part of the ‘terrorists’ presentation.  He claimed they ‘hold to the same ideology that inspired Timothy McVeigh and his accomplices to bomb the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April, 2000’.”

As it became clear that the leftist professors were losing, they ratcheted up their propaganda machine to stop SBOE approval of pro-American standards.

In an Austin American-Statesman article on April 14, 2010, the headline screamed, “Historians decry social studies revisions – Group calls on state education board to delay vote on controversial standards”.  In the article, reporter Kate Alexander wrote that eight hundred college history professors from around the country had signed a letter condemning the standards.

These are not isolated incidents of leftist activism.  In the March 31-April 1, 2012 weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, Peter Berkowitz wrote about liberal bias in the University of California system:

“The politicization of higher education by activist professors and compliant university administrators deprives students of the opportunity to acquire knowledge and refine their minds.”

Berkowitz referenced a new report “A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California”. 

The analysis begins from the nonpolitical view that college graduates are “ignorant of history, and unfamiliar with the principles of American constitutional government”.

None of the nine campuses in the UC system require students to take courses in either U.S. history or Western Civilization.

Further, “evidence suggests that the ‘hollowing’ of the curriculum stems from too many professors’ preference for promoting a partisan political agenda”.

At the Berkeley campus, the sociology department had 10 Democrats and no Republicans.  Political science included 28 Democrats and 2 Republicans.  The history department had 31 Democrats and only 1 Republican.

Taken to a national scale, a 2003 study of over 150 departments in 32 colleges and universities, by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture,  revealed the following:

  • The overall ratio of Democrats to Republicans we were able to identify at the 32 schools was more than 10 to 1 (1397 Democrats, 134 Republicans).
  • Although in the nation at large registered Democrats and Republicans are roughly equal in number, not a single department at a single one of the 32 schools managed to achieve a reasonable parity between the two. The closest any school came to parity was Northwestern University where 80% of the faculty members we identified were registered Democrats who outnumbered registered Republicans by a ratio of 4-1.
  • At other schools we found these representations of registered faculty Democrats to Republicans:
  • Brown 30-1
    Bowdoin, Wellesley 23-1
    Swarthmore 21-1
    Amherst, Bates 18-1
    Columbia, Yale 14-1
    Pennsylvania, Tufts, UCLA and Berkeley 12-1
    Smith 11-1
  • At no less than four elite schools we could not identify a single Republican on the faculty:
  • Williams 51 Democrats, 0 Republicans
    Oberlin 19 Democrats, 0 Republicans
    MIT 17 Democrats, 0 Republicans
    Haverford 15 Democrats, 0 Republicans
  • Faculty registration is just as unbalanced at major research universities as it is at small colleges. At Columbia University, the Center could identify only 6 faculty Republicans. The Center could not locate a single Republican in the history, political science, and sociology departments. Cornell University was just as left-leaning: the departments of English and history were entirely devoid of registered Republicans.
  • Administrators lean just as far to the left: at schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Melon, and Cornell, we could not identify a single Republican administrator. In the entire Ivy League, we identified only 3 Republican administrators.

 These figures suggest that most students probably graduate without ever having a class taught by a professor with a conservative viewpoint. The ratios themselves strongly suggest that the governance of American universities has fallen into the hands of a self-perpetuating political and cultural subset of the general population, which seems intent on perpetuating its control. This is an unhealthy development for both the educational enterprise and democracy itself.

Political Bias in the Administrations and Faculties of 32 Elite Colleges and Universities”  Students for Academic Freedom, August 28, 2003

In an up-to-the-minute 2012 analysis of thirty-five commencement speakers at American colleges and universities, 29 are Democrats (16 of those from the Obama administration), while only one is a conservative.

Colleges and Universities pride themselves on their racial and ethnic diversity, but there is a complete absence of diversity of opinion.

By contrast, during the U. S. history review panel deliberations in Texas during 2009, Dr. Jesus Francisco de la Teja, professor and chair of the department of history at Texas State University, and serving as an expert reviewer for the SBOE, challenged the panel by emphasizing the need for Diversity of Opinion in the standards.   Dr. de la Teja also suggested that we as a review panel were derelict if we did not insist upon presenting all sides of historical issues.

His challenge and suggestion was ignored by the review panel’s majority.  But SBOE conservatives and mainstream Texans later added the desired diversity of opinion.

Can Texas high school history graduates reject academia’s attack on America at the college level?  Dr. Don McLeroy, past chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, thinks it is possible.  In his foreword to TEXAS TROUNCES THE LEFT’S WAR ON HISTORY, he concludes:

“I would say that the odds that our new history standards will help teach our children what it means to be an American are pretty good.  America has awakened from a long hibernation of complacency.  Mainstream America wants its children to know about what it means to be an American. When our students learn the founding principles of our country, and when our children’s minds are filled with a great storehouse of knowledge about Western Civilization, then maybe ‘this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom;—and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth’.”

We cautiously agree, also hoping that the approved Texas history standards will equip our sons and daughters with the basic core principles and pride in American exceptionalism to survive the inevitable attacks by leftist academia.

Bill Ames’book, Texas Trounces the Left’s War on History, tells the story of how, in 2009 and 2010, conservatives rejected the leftist’s agenda to hijack the U.S. history curriculum in Texas.  He has worked on Texas curriculum and textbook issues, beginning in 2001, and spent much of 2009 as the only conservative member of a leftist-dominated review panel for U. S. history.