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)

 

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

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

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