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 to 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.

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The Latest on Textbook Censorship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2017

The Texas Senate voted today to approve HB1291, which the Senate Education Committee revised to allow the State Board of Education by bypass legislative safeguards against textbook censorship. The House must now either approve the revised bill or send it to a conference committee.

The Senate version of HB1291 would allow SBOE members to reject textbook content they deem as not “suitable for the subject and grade level for which the instructional material was submitted.” That highly subjective standard would effectively sweep away strict limits the 1995 Legislature placed on the ability of the SBOE to edit textbook content.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement:

“One word can change a lot, and indulging the misguided desire of politicians to decide which facts in public school textbooks are ‘suitable’ and which are not would be a disaster. This bill would effectively sweep away key safeguards against textbook censorship that the Legislature wisely put in place more than 20 years ago. So the facts Texas kids learn in their classrooms would be determined by whatever political majority controls the state board, not by teachers and scholars… Read More

Two years ago, at the conclusion of the last legislative session, we looked at each other and said: Wow, did that just happen? Did we really go for an entire session of the Texas Legislature without having to fight an anti-evolution bill? It's true, we didn't have to, because none were filed in 2015. It was the first time since TFN was founded in 1995 that we didn't have to fight an anti-science bill. We could hardly believe it. That was nice while it lasted. The streak has ended at 1. Read More

Evolution Fight Returns to the Texas SBOE

Nearly two decades into the 21st century, the State Board of Education is set this week to fight — yet again – over what Texas public school students should learn about evolution in their science classrooms. Seriously. Read More

In what seems like a never-ending battle in Texas, creationists are once again trying to make a mess of the science curriculum standards for the state's public schools. And once again, the Texas Freedom Network is organizing science education advocates to fight back. Read More

The often deeply divided Texas State Board of Education just voted unanimously -- 14-0 -- to reject the controversial and error-plagued Mexican American Heritage textbook. (Board member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, was absent.) The board must vote again on Friday, but it would be very surprising if the board reverses today's decision.

It’s ironic that Cynthia Dunbar, whose company published the textbook, has succeeded in uniting a board she helped make a deeply divisive and dysfunctional mess when she served on it during a controversial four-year term that ended in 2010. But it’s clear that board members listened closely to scholars who documented hundreds of errors in a textbook they said portrayed Mexican-Americans as a threat to American society and values. Read More

Joshua Houston

Nine Texas law professors take the #txlege to school on the myriad ways in which #HB3859 is unconstitutional. twitter.com/RDispatc…

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