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)

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… Read More

Buyer’s Remorse? Tea Party Group Pulls Bruner Endorsement

An influential East Texas Tea Party group has taken back its endorsement of Mary Lou Bruner, the controversial Republican vying for the District 9 seat on the Texas State Board of Education.

The group, Grassroots America-We the People, took issue with Bruner’s refusal to address the numerous inaccurate statements about public education she made at a gathering of school superintendents earlier this month. On the other hand, though, the group doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with Bruner’s many, many other inaccurate claims and her peddling of outlandish conspiracy theories, which Grassroots America surely knew about when they first endorsed her months ago.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Grassroots America executive director JoAnn Fleming announced that a majority of the group’s board of directors voted to pull the endorsement. It was the first time Grassroots America had taken such a step in the organization’s seven-year history, she said.

From the release:

One of the reasons we endorsed Mrs. Bruner was because of her long years of experience as a teacher. We believe the practical classroom experience of teachers is not respected or valued enough by many public school administrators, trustees, and legislators attempting to “fix”… Read More

Bruner: ‘We’re About to Win That (Global Warming) Battle’

No matter how wrong she is on a host of issues, Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner probably thinks she really would help Texas children get the best education possible and go on to succeed in life.

Here’s the problem: She cares more about pushing her own bizarre political agenda.

She’s a partisan ideologue. Here’s the even bigger problem: She’ll read something, or is told something by some random dude, and — if it fits her political agenda — she’ll run with it, no other fact-checking necessary. That trait was on display earlier this month when she told a group that teacher shortages were such a big problem, that the Lufkin Independent School District had started the current school year with a shortage of 91 qualified teachers that was being filled with full-time substitute teachers. The Lufkin ISD superintendent, who happened to be in the room and would know these things, assured Bruner that the district had a full slate of qualified teachers. Bruner countered that she knew the district was short 91 teachers when the school year started because some random dude living in Lufkin ISD told her that was the case.

That brings… Read More

Video: School Superintendents Educate Mary Lou Bruner

Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) candidate Mary Lou Bruner, R-Mineola, who at this point is best known for claiming President Obama as a young man was a drug user who worked as a gay prostitute to pay for his habit and numerous other incendiary statements, recently appeared at a meeting of several school superintendents in the SBOE district she hopes to represent.

While there, she gave a speech that was so full of inaccuracies that it appeared to have left the superintendents appalled at her lack of basic fact-checking and lack of knowledge of what was going on in their school districts. What Bruner got in return was an earful.

In one exchange, for example, when challenged by a superintendent, Bruner briefly insisted that she had better information than the superintendent because she had obtained it from a “citizen” living in the superintendent’s district.

At another point, in response to a question, Bruner claimed to have met with several superintendents in her SBOE district during her campaign, including the superintendent of the school district in her hometown of Mineola. That prompted the Mineola ISD superintendent to stand up and deny that the two had ever met… Read More

Bruner: Pre-K Programs Are Federal Plot to Make Children Gay

If you were disappointed that extremist Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) candidate Mary Lou Bruner had taken her Facebook profile private, therefore depriving you of a window into what she truly thinks, today's your lucky day. Read More

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