Down the Memory Hole?

by Dan Quinn

Nov. 14 UPDATE: Prof. Erekson’s report has been reposted on the Social Studies Collaborative website. The copyright has been changed to Prof. Erekson, dropping the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board copyright. The THECB’s logo has also been dropped from the report.

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Is the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board trying to “disappear” last week’s report criticizing the State Board of Education‘s politicized revision of public school history standards? The Coordinating Board sent out a press release Wednesday saying that news stories tying the report to it are “erroneous”:

“This report was not requested, reviewed or approved by the THECB or its staff. The faculty collaborative is funded by the THECB, however the agency does not have ownership for the work product derived from the collaborative. Products developed by the collaborative do not reflect opinions, analysis, or conclusions of the agency or its Board.”

The press release also repeats a disclaimer printed in the report indicating that the report’s findings and recommendations “are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the Social Studies Faculty Collaborative or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.”

The report has been removed from the Social Studies Collaborative website, but we have uploaded the report here.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the Coordinating Board (whose members were appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry) had nothing to do with the report that carries the Coordinating Board’s copyright, name and logo and that was issued by a body (the Social Studies Collaborative) that the Coordinating Board established to promote the Coordinating Board’s College and Career Readiness Standards. Got that?

That still leaves this question: does the Coordinating Board dispute the report’s key findings about the State Board of Education’s miserable failure to pass history curriculum standards that truly prepare Texas kids for college? We hope the Coordinating Board will take the report seriously and not just toss it down a memory hole. Of course, we have little doubt that State Board of Education members are hoping for the “memory hole” approach.

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