Taxpayer subsidized textbooks tend to tilt left, often aggressively so. Mary Grabar notes that this is especially obvious with composition textbooks:
Freshman composition class at many colleges is propaganda time, with textbooks conferring early sainthood on President Obama and lavishing attention on writers of the far left—Howard Zinn, Christopher Hedges, Peter Singer and Barbara Ehrenreich, for instance–but rarely on moderates, let alone anyone right of center. Democrats do very well in these books, but Abraham Lincoln–when included–is generally the most recent Republican featured.
Four years ago in Texas, a conservative-leaning state board of education made a push for more balance in high school history textbooks, and at one point it looked as if they had scored a decisive victory. Unfortunately, pinning down a left-leaning education establishment and getting it to implement an even-handed history curriculum is like nailing Jello to a wall. You can drive the nail through the Jello and into the wall, but the minute you step away, the Jello slides away.
This is what happened in Texas. The state board issued its mandates. A news headline declared, “Texas Kicks Out Liberal Bias From Textbooks.” Four years later, the left-leaning bias remains largely intact.
There’s a lesson here. The left marched through the institutions of the West over the past three generations, transforming them from inside. Restoring sanity and balance to our educational institutions will require a similar approach.
That being said, there is policy work to be done. (more…)