Flickr photo by Howdy, I'm H. Michael KarshisEvery week in cocktail chatter, we tell you what you need to know to sound like an expert at this weekend's play date, dinner party, or post office meeting.
This week's cheat sheet: the Texas Board of Education curriculum changes.
What it is: The Texas State Board of Education is in charge of purchasing some 48 million textbooks for its students every year; and with that kind of power, they get to choose what's inside of them.
And if book publishers are going to remake 48 million books; they might remake them all -- pushing those changes in Texas out to other school districts in America.
The proposed changes to the curriculum have started a national debate on whether the conservative board is re-writing history.
Terms to Know:
Unintended consequences: One proposal calls for students to learn that affirmative action and Title IX have had adverse affects on America.
Thomas Jefferson: The nation's third president has been deemed a poor role model for students because he advocated a separation of church and state; he could essentially be removed from the books. However Confederate General Stonewall Jackson could be added as a role model for effective leadership.
Communism: Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the "red scare" efforts to root out communist sympathizers in America in the 50s will be painted in a more favorable light.
Country and western: While hip hop would be dropped from a list of the nation's important cultural achievements, country music would be added to it.
Latino culture: A request to reference the growing Hispanic population in the state of Texas was shot down by the board.
Phrases to Drop:
"The changes in the curriculum haven't gone into effect yet; they're still going to be up for vote."
"Words like capitalism or imperialism are being changed out for phrases that make America sound better on a global scale."
"The state's senator who chairs the education committee says this will trim years worth of political correctness and liberal revision."