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)

On Monday, a coalition of grassroots, civil rights and education groups launched a coalition to oppose Mexican-American Heritage, a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook created by a company owned by former Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) member: Cynthia Dunbar, one of the most divisive members the SBOE has ever seen. The textbook will be considered by the SBOE for use in the state’s public schools.

Mexican-American Heritage has gotten plenty of press in recent months, with cursory reviews of the book finding several problematic passages. Today, to go with the launch of the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook (REST) Coalition — of which TFN is proud to be a part of — a group of scholars confirmed there was good reason to be concerned.

Watch the short video below for just a sample of the problems found when scholars and experts took a careful look at this textbook:

See? This textbook is offensive, simplistic and it includes numerous distortion and inaccuracies.

The SBOE is likely to give the textbook a public hearing in September and vote on whether or not to give it its seal of approval in November.

We encourage you to join the REST coalition… Read More

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

Bruner: I Ran to Expose the ‘Evil’ Actions of ‘Cock-Roaches’

An update has been added to the end of this post.

One more (possibly final?) thing on Mary Lou Bruner. As far as we can tell, she has not returned phone calls from reporters seeking comment on the election results that saw her lose the Texas State Board of Education Republican primary runoff to Keven Ellis of Lufkin.

But she still has the Facebook account where she made the many controversial comments that first made the SBOE District 9 race a national story. A few hours after the race was called, Bruner took to Facebook and offered a dignified concession:

While campaigning and traveling across the beautiful rural counties of Texas SBOE-9, I have been blessed to get to know so many wonderful families in North and East Texas.

I want to thank all of the faithful volunteers and friends who supported my candidacy and shared my dream of Texas schools returning to the traditional knowledge and skills that made the USA the leader of the world.

But then, the following day, she added another post in which she appears to call those who opposed her as “cock-roaches” and “evil.” She first refers to them as the “Establishment”… Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller released the following statement regarding tonight’s loss by Mary Lou Bruner in the runoff for the Republican nomination for State Board of Education District 9:

“Texas escaped an education train wreck tonight. If Bruner had ultimately won election to the board, she would have instantly become the most embarrassingly uninformed and divisive member on a board that already too often puts politics ahead of making sure our kids get a sound education. We commend the majority of East Texas voters for their wisdom in this particular race.”

The State Board of Education sets curriculum standards and adopts textbooks for the state’s more than 5 million public school students.

The victor in the GOP runoff was Keven Ellis, a chiropractor and president of the school board in the East Texas town of Lufkin. Bruner, a retired educator from Mineola, drew national attention to the race with outrageous statements made on her Facebook page, in public forums and in media interviews. Among them:… Read More

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