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

This Texas Education Board Republican Sounds a Lot Like Donald Trump

We told you last month about the brewing storm over a controversial Mexican-American studies textbook submitted for approval in Texas by an even more controversial former member of the State Board of Education. Now a current state board member has leapt to the defense of the textbook -- and in a shockingly offensive and insulting way that should make Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump very proud. 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 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 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

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