Texas SBOE Refuses to Tighten Process for Ensuring Accuracy in Textbooks

Board Votes 8-7 to Reject Establishing Scholar Panels for Reviewing Proposed Textbooks for Factual Errors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 18, 2015

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller had the following statement today following a vote by the State Board of Education against a proposal for setting up panels of college and university scholars whose sole responsibility would be to review proposed new textbooks for factual errors.

Miller said:

“With all the controversies that have made textbook adoptions in Texas look like a clown show, it’s mindboggling and downright embarrassing that the board voted this down. Instead of appointing qualified historians, scientists and mathematicians to review proposed textbooks for accuracy, board members are leaving it up to schoolchildren to do the fact checking.”

Miller noted that the SBOE’s current review process is designed to check only whether textbooks conform to state curriculum standards. Review panels report factual errors they might find, but they do not perform a systematic, cover-to-cover review of the textbooks for factual accuracy.

This fall the state was embarrassed when a Houston student found that a geography textbook adopted by the state board in 2014 describes… Read More

DEFEAT OF HOUSTON EQUALITY ORDINANCE DAMAGES TEXAS

Governor, Lt. Governor Shamefully Pandered to Intolerance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 4, 2015

The deceitful, fear-based campaign used to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance at the polls on Tuesday will seriously damage the reputation of the City of Houston and the State of Texas, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said today.

Miller said that danger is particularly high because of the way Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick waded into the election over the local ordinance.

“It was disturbing to see our state’s two highest elected leaders shamefully peddling lies and scare tactics,” Miller said. “Their political pandering has branded Texas as hostile to basic human rights and inclusiveness. In lending the prestige of their offices to such a shockingly deceitful campaign, Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick aligned themselves with some of this state’s most extreme and intolerant voices. That can only hurt the state’s reputation among anyone or any business that might want to move here.”

The rhetoric used by HERO opponents was nothing short of incendiary. At one campaign event, a major funder of the anti-HERO campaign… Read More

The Week in Quotes (Oct. 25 – 31)

Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond.

Presidential candidate Ben Carson, explaining why he thinks abortion should be outlawed even in cases of rape and incest.

During slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. Anything that they chose to do. And, you know, what if the abolitionist had said, you know, ‘I don’t believe in slavery. I think it’s wrong. But you guys do whatever you want to do.’ Where would we be?

Read the article

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April Miller and Karen Roberts, during their marriage ceremony Saturday. Miller and Roberts were the first to be denied a license by Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis.

I will.

Read the article

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Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, on his rivals for his party’s presidential nomination.

Do you know how crazy this election is? Let me tell you something. I’ve about had it with these people.

Read the article

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TFN founder and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, named by Glamour Magazine as a woman of the year.

If you want to make… Read More

Obama, Biden, Clinton All Signal Support for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

With the Nov. 3 vote just days away, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) is getting support from major national leaders.

Today the White House released a statement announcing the support of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for protecting all Houstonians — regardless of race, religion, sex, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics — from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. From the White House statement today:

“While the Administration generally does not take a formal position on specific proposals or initiatives, the President and Vice President have been strong supporters of state and local efforts to protect Americans from being discriminated against based on who they are and who they love. We’re confident that the citizens of Houston will vote in favor of fairness and equality.”

In addition, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — who has also served as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State — tweeted her support for HERO:

No one should face discrimination for who they are or who they love—I support efforts for equality in Houston & beyond. #HERO#YesOnProp1 -H

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 29, 2015

Religious-right groups have run a vicious… Read More

Helping End ‘Faith-Based’ Child Abuse

This guest post by Janet Heimlich, founder of the Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP), focuses on a new project designed to address the tragic connection that sometimes exists between religion and child maltreatment. Sadly, Texas is no stranger to this problem. The cautionary tale of fundamentalist preacher Lester Roloff and his homes for troubled teens is a case in point. TFN lobbied for years for the Texas Legislature to suspend the alternative (and lenient) licensing program the state maintained for faith-based child care providers like Roloff. That program was finally allowed to expire in 2001, and the Roloff Homes moved out of the state. Janet writes here about a new project that addresses the problem of child abuse in faith communities.

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A boy is beaten because he fidgets during a sermon. A girl is made to feel shameful about her “unclean” sexuality. A teenager is denied medical care because her community only believes in faith healing. When a religious leader molests a child, no one reports it.

Religion is a powerful and positive influence in the lives of many people. But we know that religion can sometimes be used to harm children. Fortunately, the Child-Friendly Faith Project is announcing a new program… Read More

Chuck Lindell

BREAKING: US judge tosses out Texas law limiting second-trimester abortions. #txlege

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