Education

With a public school enrollment of more than 5 million, Texas has an increasingly diverse public education system. Unfortunately, that public education system is also the target of politicians seeking to privatize our neighborhood public schools and push a culture-war agenda in the classroom.

To that end, the Texas Freedom Network – while continuing to fight private school voucher legislation at the Capitol – has conducted groundbreaking research into what is being taught in classrooms on subjects like sex education and religion.

Resources

Broken Promises: Charter Schools in Texas (2000 report)

Broken Promises II (2001 report)

 

The State Board of Education: Dragging Texas Schools into the Culture Wars (2008 report)

 

Just Say Don’t Know: Sex Education in Texas Public Schools (2009 report)

Sex Education in Public Schools: Progress in the Lone Star State (2011 report)

Reading Writing & Religion: Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools (2006 report)

Reading, Writing & Religion II (2013 report)

Can This Class Be Saved? The ‘Hobby Lobby’ Public School Bible Curriculum (2014 report)

 

Texas Ed Board Chair Ignores a Key Problem in Discussion about Textbooks

Donna Bahorich, chair of the State Board of Education, is missing a key problem in defending how new history textbooks in Texas public schools cover the experience of African Americans after the Civil War. By focusing just on the textbooks, she ignores how politicized curriculum standards adopted by the state board distort the teaching of history in Texas public schools. Read More

Texas Sen. Bob Hall’s Unhinged, Anti-Common Core Rant: Sex, Race, and the Bible

TFN neither supports nor opposes Common Core, standards that states across the country came together to develop and implement in their public schools. But we're fascinated by the almost unhinged rants from right-wing activists and politicians who hate those standards for English/language arts and mathematics. Take, for example, what East Texas state Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, says about Common Core. Read More

The SBOE Is Taking Up Science Again This Year

Buckle up, science-lovers and other rational Texans.

Science is coming back to the Texas State Board of Education this year.

The SBOE has announced plans to “streamline” the state’s controversial science standards. And that means evolution will be back in the crosshairs.

We’ll have much more information about this process soon, but for now, two things you can do to help:

Join A TFN Rapid Response Team Sign up for TFN’s “Stand Up for Science” team, and we’ll update you with the latest news on the science campaign.

Join An SBOE Review Team TFN can help you apply to serve on an official SBOE review committee. These are the folks who will draft initial recommendations for changes to the standards. We must ensure qualified, reasonable people serve on those teams. (The application deadline is March 16.)

Let’s do this … Read More

Join the #StandUp4Science Rapid Response Team

In 2016-17, the Texas State Board of Education is streamlining the state’s controversial science curriculum standards. And that means evolution is back in the crosshairs.

TFN is working to ensure that the revised standards don’t promote junk science.

You can help by joining the #StandUp4Science Rapid Response Team:

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Rafael Cruz, the fringe religious-righter and father of Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, is claiming (inaccurately, of course) that our nation’s public education system was founded by “a member of the American Communist Party.” Here’s an excerpt from a report by our friends at Right Wing Watch:

The elder Cruz alleged in an interview on the Sirius XM program “Breitbart News Daily” this morning that public schools are brainwashing children into communism as a result of the work of education reformer John Dewey.

While he did correctly identify Dewey as a secular humanist, Cruz alleged that “John Dewey was a member of the American Communist Party,” when, in fact, Dewey was “an avowed anti-Communist” who even believed that “known Communists should not be permitted to teach children.” He co-founded the anti-Communist Committee for Cultural Freedom and was widely denounced by supporters of the Communist Party.

Cruz said that Dewey’s influence in the school system instilled anti-American values in children and, as a result, created “chaos in society.” This prompted Cruz to discuss Common Core, which he claimed “is about redefining education, redefining history and attempting to brainwash kids with a secularist view of history … Read More

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