Educational Research Analysts  December 2000 Newsletter 


We have the ammunition

U.S. History Textbook SHOWDOWN

How politi­cally correct, how pro-big gov­ern­ment, how anti-free market will the next generation of U.S. History textbooks be? Major public school textbook publish­ers will soon put finishing touches on these, for submission to Texas early in 2002. Those books will be far too long for teachers actually to read before choosing one. But they will undergo our toughest scrutiny ever, using our expanded stan­dard review criteria (see below) to document our ratings. Informed mainstream educators will reject extremist U.S. History texts.

For example, in one current U.S. History book, removal of the Cherokees (104 stu­dent text lines) is almost twice as impor­tant as the War of 1812 (58 lines), more than four times as impor­tant as the Monroe Doctrine (24 lines), and infinitely more important than Jackson's war against the Bank of the U.S. (zero lines). American WWII military action in Europe (161 lines) is only about half as important as discri­mina­tion in the U.S. from 1941-45 (317 lines). Male-female sex roles in the 1950s are as important as the Korean War (97 lines each). We could go on.

Real U.S. History survey texts apportion space among topics based on how many people they affected for how long. This book is not a survey, but a politically-correct race and gender quota list. There is anti-intellectualism as well as dis­pro­por­tion­ality – the standard left-wing economic litany of half-truths, selec­tive dis­in­for­ma­tion, and false editorial stereo­types on industrial capital­ism; censorship of free-market criticism of the New Deal; and discussion of faults but no defense of Reaganomics. Employers bear all the blame, unions none, in labor disputes.
Also in this text, pro-big government tunnel vision means malign neglect of major Con­sti­tu­tional conflicts. The entire philo­sophy of strict con­struc­tion and original intent is absent. Almost the whole Jef­fersonian-Jacksonian tra­dition op­posing the growth of federal power is missing. Publishers load up on "multi­cultural consultants" to certify their political correctness, then shut their eyes to half the American political tradition. By implication, all state resis­tance to any cen­traliza­tion is un­consti­tu­tional! This text tells students what to think, not how to think. 

The contrast is stark between that dis­inter­est in states' rights in U.S. political history, and the advocacy of politically-correct social history. Such books demand diver­sity, yet deny dissent; preach inclusion, but practice exclusion; tout critical thinking, and shield ignorance. Textbook sales reps seem unaware of this. Editors go mum when we document it. How can advocates for students combat this? Through subject-matter specific, academically-respectable standard review criteria, and proven impact on sales in a state with Texas' market leverage over the industry. 

Every so often, panels of "experts" issue scathing indictments of existing public school U.S. History books … to little avail due to several common faults. Unlike them, we tie into an influential state adop­tion process that we know inside and out. Unlike them, one of our reviewers reads all the texts so we can better rank them. Unlike them, we have concrete, con­struc­tive standard review criteria. The U.S. History textbook standard review criteria on the following pages obviously take this subject where the education establishment does not want to go.

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U.S. History textbook  standard review criteria

These facts relate to major topics that all U.S. History textbooks cover, but each expresses a politically incorrect, anti-big government, and/or pro-free market perspective that the education establishment seeks to censor. (This is only a partial listing. Contact us for more.)

Colonial religion fostered independence.

  • Church polity encouraged self-rule:
    • Lack of a bishop in America meant lay control of Anglican churches.
    • Congregationalism brought local autonomy.
    • Presbyterianism involved representative govern­ment.
  • Calvinist covenant theology nurtured consti­tu­tion­alism.
  • The Great Awakening promoted self-determination:
    • Stressed equal opportunity for salvation (spiritual rebirth over reason; free will over pre­des­ti­na­tion in Methodism).
    • Reaffirmed Protestant indi­vid­ual­ism (priest-hood of all believers; right of each person to interpret Scripture)
    • United colonies in common experience.
    • Expanded most those deno­mi­na­tions (Baptists, Methodists) that favored disestablishment.

British Acts of Parliament between 1763 and 1775 violated all these rights of Englishmen.

  • Taxation by consent of property-owners
  • Trial by jury of peers
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Due process of law before property seizure
  • Liability for unlawful property seizure
  • Speedy trial
  • No standing army in peacetime without consent
  • No quartering of troops in private homes
  • Freedom of travel in peacetime

The first Congress refused Madison's bid to word the Bill of Rights to apply to the states as well as to the federal government. 

Congress saw no conflict between the First Amendment denying federal support of religion, and its confirmation of the Northwest Ordinance which stated, "Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." 

Madison and Jefferson held that the "general welfare" clause authorized the federal govern­ment to exercise only its enumerated powers — the purpose of enumerated powers being to exclude un-enumerated powers.

Madison and Hamilton agreed (in the Federalist) that the federal government was supreme over the states only in the exercise of its exclusively dele­gated powers, and that the states were supreme over it in exercise of their constitutionally reserved powers. 

Judicial review, said the Federalist, would deter­mine whether exec­utive and legis­lative acts were within their Con­sti­tu­tion­al grants of power. Threat of im­peach­ment would keep judges from using judicial review to legislate. 

To insure the uniform and predictable rule of law, Jefferson and Madison said the original intent of a law's authors must prevail.

 Jefferson and Madison denied that the federal government alone was the sole judge of the constitutionality of its acts, for that would make the federal government rather than the Constitution sovereign. States too, they wrote, should sit in judgment of the extent of federal power under the Con­sti­tu­tion, to help protect the people. 

Jeffersonians repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801, firing 16 federal judges by abolishing their offices. 

As a further check and balance, Jeffer­son­ians and Jack­son­ians thought each branch of the federal government (not just the Supreme Court) should decide an action's constitutionality. 

  • John Marshall expected Secretary of State Madison to ignore a Supreme Court order to give William Marbury his commission. 
  • President Jefferson, citing the equality of branches of government, refused Chief Justice Marshall's subpoena to testify at Aaron Burr's trial (but did offer to give a deposition). Jefferson also decided which papers on the case were public records that the court could see, and which papers he would withhold under executive privilege.
  • Jackson vetoed re­charter of a national bank because he believed it uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, even though the Supreme Court had declared it constitutional. 
  •  Lincoln called the Dred Scott decision not settled constitutional interpretation unless the other branches of the federal government concurred. 
  • Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in some instances during the Civil War despite a Supreme Court prohibition.
When institutions of government disagreed on con­sti­tu­tion­al interpretation, Jeffersonians and Jacksonians looked to the people to resolve the dispute at the next election. 

Following the original intent of the 14th Amendment, Supreme Court rulings at first narrowly defined the rights of both whites (1873 Slaughterhouse cases) and of blacks (1883 Civil Rights cases) as U.S. citizens.

Constitutional restraints on federal power gradually diminished.

  • McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) 
    Supreme Court constitutionalized the Bank of the United States, despite a Constitutional Convention vote not to empower the federal government to charter corporations.
  • Knox v. Lee (1871) 
    Supreme Court constitutionalized U.S. fiat paper money as legal tender, despite a Constitutional Convention vote not to allow this.
  • 16th Amendment (1913) 
    Direct federal taxation of incomes departed from the Constitution's original reliance on indirect taxation only.
  • 17th Amendment (1913) 
    With U.S. Senators no longer elected by state legislators, states lost their check on federal power. 
  • 18th Amendment (1919) 
    In national prohibition the federal government exercised states' reserved police power over health, welfare, safety, and moral issues.
  • The New Deal tried to promote prosperity by: 
    1. price inflation (withdrawing gold coins from circulation) 
    2. monetary inflation (expanding bank credit) 
    3. restricting production (AAA, SCDA Act) 
    4. restraining price competition (NIRA) 
    5. restraining wage competition (NIRA, NLRA, FLSA)
  • NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin Steel (1937) 
    Supreme Court said the federal government under the interstate commerce clause could regulate intrastate production.
  • Wickard v. Filburn (1942) 
    Supreme Court said the federal government under the interstate commerce clause could regulate intrastate consumption.
  • Korean (1950) and Vietnam (1964) Wars 
    Presidents committed U.S. forces to overseas combat without the Congressional declaration of war required by the Constitution.

Supreme Court power grew over time due to neglect of the original intent of the Constitution.

  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890) 
    So vaguely worded was this Act that Congress in effect delegated to the federal judiciary the power to legislate on the subject, violating the separation-of-powers principle.
  • Gitlow v. New York (1925) 
    Supreme Court claimed jurisdiction over state free-speech laws on the ground that the 1st Amendment free-speech clause restrains the states through the 14th Amendment due-process clause. (The Bill of Rights' original intent was to restrain only the federal government, letting states write their own free-speech laws. The due-process clause's original intent was only to restrain states from denying the procedural common-law rights of the accused to indictment and reply in court.)

Supreme Court equated what was wise, just, or reason­able, with what was constitu­tional.

  • "Sociological jurisprudence" 
    Supreme Court said an Oregon law limiting women's workday to 10 hours was constitutional on public health grounds, not because the Consti­tution reserves police powers to the states (Muller v. Oregon, 1908).
  • "Clear and present danger" doctrine 
    Supreme Court upheld the conviction under federal law of socialists who during WWI mailed pamphlets opposing the draft, even though the 1st Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" (Schenck v. U.S., 1919).

Reaganomics had benefits as well as defects.

  • "The wealthy" (i.e., the top quintile of households in terms of annual income) received the most income because this quintile contained the most people – about 25% of the population in the 1980s, compared to about 15% for the bottom quintile (and also more than each of the middle three quintiles).
  • Tax cuts promoted economic expan­sion. Deficits of the 1980s protected that expansion by restraining govern­ment growth. Political liberals were the most upset about those deficits.

How this info helps you 
• Having it on hand saves you much time and effort.
• Teachers can supplement U. S. History texts that omit it.
• Those adopting U.S. History books can use it as grounds to reject the worst.
• It gives publishers guidelines for improving future editions.

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No Free Rides For Evolutionists
The Myth of 'Micro-Evolution'

'When reviewing Science texts, some good non-evolutionists distinguish "micro-evolution" below the species level (which they accept) from "macro-evolution" above the species level (which they reject). Evolutionists seldom stress this "micro-/macro-" distinction.'

Instead, evolutionists say all "change over time" or "descent with modification" is evolution. This lets evolution mean two different things: shifts in gene frequency (e.g., peppered moths), and in­creas­es in net genetic complexity — one term for two separ­ate concepts.

Why do evolutionists so define evolution? For the free-rider effect. Development of molecules to man gains plausibility by as­so­cia­tion if it falls under the same evolutionary rubric as simple genetic drift. But consenting to such forensic sleight-of-hand is folly.

It is folly tactically and scientifically. It puts you on the defensive playing your foes' game, which you should avoid. It spares evo­lu­tion­ists' weakness, which you should exploit. Evolution involves increased net genetic complexity. Subspeciation does not.

Subspeciation is not "micro-evolution." Pretending that it is, rewards evolutionists for definitional bait-and-switch. They will claim "macro-evolution" is just "micro-evolution" extended. If they define the terms of debate, your neck is in their noose.

Evolution requires increased net genetic complexity: between the first cell and Einstein there must be new genes. This definition stresses the failure to identify a mechanism for increasing net genetic complexity, which lets you control the discussion.

Newtonianism without the mechanism of gravity would have been nothing
Evolution lacks a mechanism to increase net genetic complexity.
Therefore evolution is nothing.