Gail Collins is a columnist for The New York Times. Her article in this issue appears in somewhat different form in her new book As Texas Goes …: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda, published this month by Liveright.
 (June 2012)

How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us

Texas State Board of Education members Cynthia Dunbar, Barbara Cargill, and Gail Lowe discussing curriculum standards, Austin, May 2008. Cargill, who was appointed chairwoman last year by Governor Rick Perry, has expressed concern that there are now only ‘six true conservative Christians on the board.’
No matter where you live, if your children go to public schools, the textbooks they use were very possibly written under Texas influence. If they graduated with a reflexive suspicion of the concept of separation of church and state and an unexpected interest in the contributions of the National Rifle Association to American history, you know who to blame.