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)

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

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 this… 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

Texas Freedom Network

Read this to understand how Texas’ law requiring burial or cremation of all fetal remains would affect women whose pregnancies are terminated, by choice or not. bit.ly/2HabLOP #txlege

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