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)

Texas Ed Board Chair Ignores a Key Problem in Discussion about Textbooks

Donna Bahorich, chair of the State Board of Education, is missing a key problem in defending how new history textbooks in Texas public schools cover the experience of African Americans after the Civil War. By focusing just on the textbooks, she ignores how politicized curriculum standards adopted by the state board distort the teaching of history in Texas public schools. Read More

Bruner Explains ‘President Obama Was a Gay Prostitute’ Remarks

Dallas-area radio station KERA has landed a new interview with controversial Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner, in which she explains her accusation that President Obama paid for a drug habit by working as a gay prostitute.

Here comes the “logic”:

In one Facebook post, she said Obama once prostituted himself. It’s a logical conclusion, she says, since he admitted to smoking pot as a young man.

“If he’s on drugs, then how did he pay for them?” she says. “There’s two ways that people on welfare pay for drugs — they prostitute themselves or they steal.”

Bruner’s prostitution accusation is evolving. At first, Bruner explained, the president must have been a prostitute because his support of equal rights for LGBT people shows he has a “soft spot for homosexuals.” Now the explanation is that the president admitted to smoking marijuana, ergo he must have been a) on welfare, and b) there’s only two ways people on welfare pay for drugs, one of them being prostitution. At least she hasn’t accused the president of stealing … yet.

You can listen to the KERA story here, which includes Bruner explaining why she’s running for… Read More

Bruner vs. Breitbart

Controversial Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner is upset at the media. But not just any media. While it’s not unusual for politicians and activists to blame the so-called “left-wing liberal media” for just about everything, Bruner is, surprisingly, upset at the uber-conservative news website Breitbart.

The tiff between Bruner and Breitbart writer Merrill Hope includes an accusation that the Republican running in SBOE District 9 released Hope’s private cell phone number on Facebook.

Hope contends that Bruner’s publication of the cell number was in retaliation for a story Hope wrote, for which she interviewed Bruner, previewing the March 1 Republican primary. Bruner won that race but not with enough of the vote to avoid a runoff. In an article published Wednesday, Hope offers this account of the incident and what she believes set off Bruner:

Bruner is now one of two Texas Republican hopefuls headed for a May 24 run-off race for the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) District 9 seat. She threw what many would call an online tantrum and posting this reporter’s private cell phone number on Facebook.

In addition to that posting, she put the entire content of the interview… Read More

The SBOE Is Taking Up Science Again This Year

Buckle up, science-lovers and other rational Texans.

Science is coming back to the Texas State Board of Education this year.

The SBOE has announced plans to “streamline” the state’s controversial science standards. And that means evolution will be back in the crosshairs.

We’ll have much more information about this process soon, but for now, two things you can do to help:

Join A TFN Rapid Response Team Sign up for TFN’s “Stand Up for Science” team, and we’ll update you with the latest news on the science campaign.

Join An SBOE Review Team TFN can help you apply to serve on an official SBOE review committee. These are the folks who will draft initial recommendations for changes to the standards. We must ensure qualified, reasonable people serve on those teams. (The application deadline is March 16.)

Let’s do this… Read More

Yes, We Have More of Mary Lou Bruner’s Facebook Posts

After we first published Mary Lou Bruner’s social media posts, the Republican Texas State Board of Education candidate out of District 9 defended her comments in a couple of ways. She began by saying, on Facebook, that she was taken out of context. What possible context there could be for insisting that the president of the United States once paid for drugs by working as gay prostitute is beyond us. But here’s how Bruner explained the prostitution comment to TV station KTRE:

“I don’t know, I guess I’m assuming it was true; you’re assuming some people assume that it’s false, I mean, who knows.”

Bruner then told the Texas Tribune that she was unapologetic and proud of everything she has said. It is odd, then, that she would start deleting the posts and has now taken her Facebook profile private. But no worries, we have more of her posts.

Here are some highlights, taken before Bruner closed her account to the general public.

On the Confederacy and the song “Dixie” Last June, a week after a white supremacist shot and killed nine people at a church in Charleston, Bruner took to Facebook to… Read More

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