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  • Summary: In Austin, Texas, fifteen people influence what is taught to the next generation of American children. Once every decade, the highly politicized Texas State Board of Education rewrites the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. And when it comes toIn Austin, Texas, fifteen people influence what is taught to the next generation of American children. Once every decade, the highly politicized Texas State Board of Education rewrites the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. And when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas affects the nation as a whole. Don McLeroy, a dentist, Sunday school teacher, and avowed young-earth creationist, leads the Religious Right charge. After briefly serving on his local school board, McLeroy was elected to the Texas State Board of Education and later appointed chairman. During his time on the board, McLeroy has overseen the adoption of new science and history curriculum standards, drawing national attention and placing Texas on the front line of the so-called "culture wars." n his last term, McLeroy, aided by Cynthia Dunbar, an attorney from Houston and professor of Law at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, finds himself not only fighting to change what Americans are taught, but also fighting to retain his seat on the board. Challenged by Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, and Ron Wetherington, an anthropology professor from Southern Methodist University in Texas, McLeroy faces his toughest term yet. THE REVISIONARIES follows the rise and fall of some of the most controversial figures in American education through some of their most tumultuous intellectual battles. (Kino Lorber) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Daniel M. Gold
    Oct 26, 2012
    90
    Interviewing a wide range of concerned parties, Mr. Thurman's presentation is admirably evenhanded; though he clearly supports the scientists.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Oct 25, 2012
    80
    Director Scott Thurman presents a largely even-handed recounting, wisely letting folks - and events - speak for themselves. It's riveting stuff.
  3. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 24, 2012
    78
    This is one time Texas can't keep its weird political landscape to itself: What happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas. When it comes to textbooks, what happens in this state is of national concern. Nothing less than the education of our nation's next generation of citizens is at stake.
  4. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Oct 23, 2012
    75
    Scott Thurman captures not only the fear and anti-intellectual resentment and insecurity that govern the dictations of the far right, but also the rampant unchecked egotism.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 25, 2012
    70
    One of the great things about Scott Thurman's film - a low-budget but thoroughly watchable documentary, largely funded on Kickstarter – is that it helped me see the world from McLeroy's point of view, which I might previously have considered impossible.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 23, 2012
    40
    Such a feature-length bludgeoning, even in the service of basic social and scientific literacy, is truly discomfiting.
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