CONTACT: For press inquiries, to set up interviews or to sign up for e-mail press releases, please e-mail TFN Communications Director Dan Quinn or call 512-322-0545.

Two Days after Rejecting Fact-Check Panels for University Academics, Board Votes Down Proposal to Set Standards for Citizen Reviewers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 20, 2015

State Board of Education today rejected a new proposal to set specific criteria for determining whether individuals are qualified to review textbooks submitted for adoption in Texas. Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller criticized the 8-6 vote against the proposal as yet another example of the board’s hostility to expertise and competence.

 “This board seems determined that textbook adoptions in Texas remain a three-ring circus,” Miller said. “It’s clear that board members are more interested in protecting their ability to appoint unqualified political activists to these panels than in ensuring that our kids’ textbooks are accurate.”

Just two days ago, the board on an 8-7 vote rejected a proposal to set up special panels made up of college and university academics to review textbooks for factual accuracy. Board members argued that existing panels of citizen reviewers were sufficient.

Today SBOE member Erika Beltran, D-Dallas, proposed that the board require that at least a majority of those citizen reviewers have education certification and teaching experience in three of the… Read More

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

TFN STUDENT ACTIVISTS JOIN OCT. 29 VOTER TURNOUT EVENT

UH-Downtown Event Seeks to Boost Turnout Among Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 27, 2015

Members of the Texas Freedom Network chapter at the University of Houston-Downtown will join student government and other groups at the school on Oct. 29 in a joint effort to get young people to the polls for the November 3 election.

 “Walk 2 Vote” is an annual event sponsored by UHD’s Student Government Association and designed to boost voter turnout among students. Voters this year will be deciding city government races as well as whether to approve the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and other ballot propositions.

HERO protects all Houstonians from discrimination based on race, age, gender, orientation, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military status and other characteristics.

“Young people as a group are among the least likely to vote in Texas,” said Ali Gorczynski, TFN’s outreach and field coordinator in Houston. “But our votes could be critical in deciding whether Houston remains the only major city in Texas without a comprehensive civil rights ordinance that protects everyone from discrimination.”

“Walk 2 Vote” is set for… Read More

Joint Press Release from the Texas Freedom Network and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas

CIVIL LIBERTIES GROUPS WARN AGAINST ‘RELIGIOUS REFUSAL’ LAWS 

TFN, ACLU of Texas Announce Effort to Track Instances of Religious Refusals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 20, 2015

Two leading civil and religious liberties organizations in Texas are warning against efforts by elected officials to misuse religion to defend discrimination in the state. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Texas Freedom Network announced today an effort to track instances of religious refusals by government officials and businesses. Individuals can report such instances at www.texansequalunderlaw.com/story.

Efforts to carve out special religious exemptions to state and local laws designed to protect the common good – especially nondiscrimination measures – distort the true meaning of religious liberty and put all Texans at risk, said Rebecca Marques, policy and advocacy strategist for the ACLU of Texas.

“Religious freedom is one of our fundamental rights as Americans,” Marques said. “That’s why we protect it in our Constitution. But religious freedom doesn’t give anyone the right to refuse to obey laws that everyone else must obey or to discriminate against… Read More

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