Textbook Censorship

The Texas State Board of Education decides what every student in Texas public schools will learn from kindergarten through high school. The board does so by adopting curriculum standards and textbooks for public schools in the state.

For decades, politicians on the State Board of Education and their activist allies have taken advantage of this flawed system to dismiss the advice of experts and scholars. They have instead worked tod inject their personal views into textbooks on everything from evolution and climate change to the history of slavery, civil rights and separation of church and state.

Resources

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

Evolution, Creationism & Public Schools: Surveying Texas Scientists (2008 report)

Culture Wars and the Classroom (2010 report)

Senate Bill 6: Changes in the Textbook Adoption Process (2011 report)

Texas Science Curriculum Standards: Challenges (2012 report)

Science Textbook Review (2013 report)

Social Studies Textbook Review (2014 report)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 11, 2018 AUSTIN – The State Board of Education’s preliminary vote today to move forward on approving curriculum standards for a state elective course in Mexican American studies is an important step forward for Texas public school students, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said. Read More

Current social studies curriculum standards in Texas promote the right-wing agenda of politicians who sat on the State Board of Education in 2010. With the state board this year set to revise those standards, a new report from the TFN Education Fund documents the problems and makes recommendations for how to get politics out of public school classrooms. Check out our press release and report. Read More

There is, sadly, a considerable list of divisive figures who have served on the State Board of Education. But even within that context, it's hard to name one who has been more divisive than David Bradley, R-BeaumontBuna. On Monday Bradley announced he would not seek re-election next year and will retire from the SBOE District 7 seat he's held since he was first elected in 1996. Read More

TFN PRESIDENT: STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS WILL USE THIS BILL TO RETURN TEXAS TO THE WORST YEARS OF THE TEXTBOOK WARS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 28, 2017

AUSTIN – Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is warning that today’s passage of SB801 by the House and Senate threatens to return Texas to the worst years of textbook censorship by the State Board of Education.

SB801 allows the state board to determine whether content in textbooks under consideration for use in Texas public schools is “suitable for the subject and grade level.” Current state board member and former chair Barbara Cargill, R–The Woodlands, has already made clear she and her colleagues will use that provision to reject textbook content they don’t like.

Prior to 1995, state board members sometimes demanded hundreds of changes to textbook content they didn’t like, often for personal or political reasons rather than factual accuracy. If publishers didn’t make the changes, the state board could reject their textbooks for use in Texas public schools. But in 1995 the Legislature finally reined in this authority, requiring that the board approve any textbook that conforms to the state’s curriculum standards and is free… Read More

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