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Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories (nytimes.com)
29 points by jonbaer 8 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

This covers two textbooks- same name, same authors, one for california and one for texas. Some significant differences occur: California's version indicates the second amendment opens some regulation, Texas' does not. California mentions that white flight happened and was racially motivated, Texas said that people merely wishes to escape 'crime and congestion' of city life. Where California includes an excerpt from Dominican-American novel, Texas includes the words of a Border Patrol officer.

How can we hope to resolve the greater difference in our partisian society while also teaching different versions of the same history to our kids?

Which one do you pick?

I have a belief that our nation is so large and its people so vast in difference of opinion we are technically different social nations. I would not be able or want to live in a place like California- their laws are incompatible with my way of life. From my firearms collection to my automotive hobbies. Things that make me happy are illegal in California. And that is OK!

See I am happy to visit the nation of California- and will will act in their way when I am in their land. When they come to Texas they can choose to hang out with us and enjoy our local customs and culture.

What unites us is our common bond in the fact that we are all Americans. I may not want to live in California, those are still my fellow countrymen and I hope that they will find continued success in their ventures despite of difference in ways of life.

Why does one view have to be wrong? Different strokes?

My artsy pals moved to Portland to hang with their kind in an art community. My Alone in the woods friends who wanted to be more alone moved to remote Idaho.

Why does anyone have to be wrong, in the end they are all just seeking happiness and moving to where people around them share their values, culture and belief systems.

America is a divided nation, unified by an ideology of individual liberty and personal autonomy. I find it no surprise, nor do I see it as a problem that our textbooks reflect this fact.

I wonder if someone could design a country such that each "social nation" could operate largely independently and only be tied together by a tiny, weak federal government. A "united states", perhaps.

You choose both. You don't present one as truth. People need to learn the beauty of grey.

Buried in the middle of the story:

> Still, recent textbooks have come a long way from what was published in past decades. Both Texas and California volumes deal more bluntly with the cruelty of the slave trade, eschewing several myths that were common in textbooks for generations: that some slave owners treated enslaved people kindly and that African-Americans were better off enslaved than free. The books also devote more space to the women’s movement and balance the narrative of European immigration with stories of Latino and Asian immigrants.

> “American history is not anymore the story of great white men,” said Albert S. Broussard, a history professor at Texas A&M University and an author of both the Texas and California editions of McGraw-Hill’s textbooks.

So, in short, all the textbooks are moving toward a more multicultural worldview and ideas traditionally associated with "the left," but California is moving that direction faster than Texas.

Feynman's account of his brief time on the California textbook selection committee: https://rangevoting.org/FeynTexts.html

Writing textbooks is political, but the battle starts much earlier, already in hiring - University of California requires all new hires to submit a political litmus test [1]. A story which, I couldn't help but notice, the New York Times failed to cover.

[1] https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/11/19/mathematician...

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