The Revisionaries looks at the politicization of the Texas Board of Education and how a few conservatives on the Board have been pushing to change textbook requirements to reflect their ideology. They demand creationist friendly language against the theory of evolution and push Christianity and capitalism into the teaching of social studies.Written by
A Lesson to be Aware of Who Decides on Local Textbooks
I really can't imagine how either side of the creationism issue are really happy with this film. On the scientific side, they must believe that Mr. McElroy was treated with kid gloves. Mostly his beliefs that the world is 6,000 years old and that evolution doesn't exist is presented and allowed to stand or fall on its own merits. (No one asks him, for example, how the two penguins walked thousands of miles in time to jump onto the ark with the dinosaurs and the incestuous handful of humans} Perhaps the earth was not only younger than science believes but smaller also.
And on the Creationists' side, they must have been disappointed that a light would be pointed at their efforts, perhaps making their further editing of history and science more difficult in 2017 when the textbooks come up for revisioning again. I thought it was also interesting that the creationists were allowed to import slick outside experts while the science side only had access to Texas experts. That scientist was eloquent and smart, but for the bigger picture presented by the Social Studies issues, the scientist probably wished someone more knowledgeable on history and philosophy could have been present. Not that it matters, as often happens in partisan politics, the game was rigged by the votes anyway. It was ironic that Mr. McElroy stated he was taking a stand against experts because someone had to (he didn't say why someone had to), but then he set himself up as an expert when he taught young schoolchildren how big the ark was and where they put the dinosaurs and dinosaur effluent. (My favorite moment was when he called out "Were there dinosaurs on the ark?" and the kids called out "No!" So he had some work ahead of him converting them to his narrow world view.
The real revelation is one thing political organizers on both sides of every issue will agree on: if you don't think your vote or interest counts for much in a national or statewide election, in a way you are correct. But as the elections scale down to county or city wide issues, you can make a difference, and letting others do it all can be dangerous and, well-intentioned or otherwise, cause things to be done with a very small percentage of public support or approval. So attend or at least follow your local council meetings. We can all be wrong sometimes, but there aren't many awards given out for ignorance or apathy.
This film could have been presented in a hundred different ways from numerous angles, but it is good that at least one version of the story of how history and science in school textbooks can be manipulated or eliminated to support a political viewpoint, any political viewpoint, is out there.
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