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)

 

Textbook Reinforces Racial Stereotypes, Distorts History, Scholars Say

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 18, 2016

AUSTIN – A broad coalition of organizations from across Texas is calling on the State Board of Education (SBOE) to reject a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that promotes offensive cultural stereotypes, distorts history and is plagued by factual errors.

“This textbook has no place in a Texas classroom, especially in a course that focuses on teaching about the contributions of Mexican Americans in our country’s history,” said Celina Moreno, representing the Texas Latino Education Coalition (TLEC), in speaking out against the Mexican American Heritage textbook from publisher Momentum Instruction. “The textbook not only insults Mexican Americans, but also African Americans and other people of color. Every parent and taxpayer should take offense that such a poorly researched and written textbook would even be considered for use in Texas public schools.”

Moreno spoke at a press conference launching the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook (REST) Coalition. Member organizations include education groups like TLEC, the Rio Grande Valley Coalition for Mexican American Studies, and the Mexican American School Board Members Association (MASBA). Community and civil rights groups like MALDEF, Texas LULAC, the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers… Read More

This Texas Education Board Republican Sounds a Lot Like Donald Trump

We told you last month about the brewing storm over a controversial Mexican-American studies textbook submitted for approval in Texas by an even more controversial former member of the State Board of Education. Now a current state board member has leapt to the defense of the textbook -- and in a shockingly offensive and insulting way that should make Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump very proud. Read More

You may have seen reports, like this one by the Associated Press, about a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that will be submitted to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) for approval and use in the state’s public schools.

That textbook is already generating controversy. Cursory reviews of the book show that it includes troubling passages like this one:

“Chicanos…adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.”

Just as troubling is who is behind this text. Cynthia Dunbar, a former SBOE member who believes public education is a “subtle tool of perversion” and the separation of church and state is a myth, owns the company that submitted this book. Dunbar doesn’t have any qualifications to create a Mexican-American studies textbook. And neither do her buddies at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University who helped her write this book.

We’ve known for some time that this book may be coming. And we’ve also known that Dunbar’s company was behind it. And as TFN has done with all textbook adoptions likely to be targeted by political activists like Dunbar, we prepared by lining up scholars and experts in the relevant field to review this… Read More

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

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