9:27 The board is taking up remaining amendments on the high school world history course.
9:30 Board member Cynthia Dunbar wants to change a standard having students study the impact of Enlightenment ideas on political revolutions from 1750 to the present. She wants to drop the reference to Enlightenment ideas (replacing with the writings of) and to Thomas Jefferson. She adds Thomas Aquinas and others. Jeffersons ideas, she argues, were based on other political philosophers listed in the standards. We dont buy her argument at all. Board member Bob Craig of Lubbock points out that the curriculum writers clearly wanted to students to study Enlightenment ideas and Jefferson. Could Dunbars problem be that Jefferson was a Deist? The board approves the amendment, taking Thomas Jefferson OUT of the world history standards.
9:40 Were just picking ourselves up off the floor. The boards far-right faction has spent months now proclaiming the importance of emphasizing Americas exceptionalism in social studies classrooms. But today they voted to remove one of the greatest of Americas Founders, Thomas Jefferson, from a standard about the influence of great political philosophers on political revolutions from 1750 to today.
9:45 Heres the amendment Dunbar changed: explain the impact of Enlightenment ideas from John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Jefferson on political revolutions from 1750 to the present. Heres Dunbars replacement standard, which passed: explain the impact of the writings of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Sir William Blackstone. Not only does Dunbars amendment completely change the thrust of the standard. It also appalling drops one of the most influential political philosophers in American history Thomas Jefferson.
9:51 Dunbars amendment striking Jefferson passed with the votes of the boards far-right members and board member Geraldine Tincy Miller of Dallas.
9:56 Here is what the Library of Congress says about Jeffersons influence: Recognized in Europe as the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson quickly became a focal point or lightning rod for revolutionaries in Europe and the Americas. The Library of Congress notes, in particular, Jeffersons influence on revolutionaries in France (including on the Declaration of the Rights of Man), other European nations, South America and Haiti.
(Found via The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.)