Education

With a public school enrollment of more than 5 million, Texas has an increasingly diverse public education system. Unfortunately, that public education system is also the target of politicians seeking to privatize our neighborhood public schools and push a culture-war agenda in the classroom.

To that end, the Texas Freedom Network – while continuing to fight private school voucher legislation at the Capitol – has conducted groundbreaking research into what is being taught in classrooms on subjects like sex education and religion.

Resources

Broken Promises: Charter Schools in Texas (2000 report)

Broken Promises II (2001 report)

 

The State Board of Education: Dragging Texas Schools into the Culture Wars (2008 report)

 

Just Say Don’t Know: Sex Education in Texas Public Schools (2009 report)

Sex Education in Public Schools: Progress in the Lone Star State (2011 report)

Reading Writing & Religion: Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools (2006 report)

Reading, Writing & Religion II (2013 report)

Can This Class Be Saved? The ‘Hobby Lobby’ Public School Bible Curriculum (2014 report)

 

Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond. Read More

We told you some of the whoppers David Barton shamelessly spouted to hundreds of pastors and their spouses at the Texas Renewal Project event in Austin on April 3-4. His dishonest claims on Thursday evening that someone who criticizes homosexuality is barred from running for the San Antonio City Council were clearly designed to rile up conservative pastors at the gathering. But when Barton returned to the podium on Friday, he vomited out even more nonsense — this time explicitly trying to tie the Bible to a conservative political agenda.

Barton suggested that too many Americans don’t vote the right way because they are “biblically illiterate.” And the reason they supposedly don’t know much about the Bible, he insisted, is because public schools don’t teach students about it. Barton, who absurdly served as an “expert” adviser when the Texas State Board of Education revised social studies curriculum standards in 2009-10, even invented an example — suggesting that he faced opposition when he proposed requiring textbooks to identify civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. as a minister:

“They said ‘we can’t put reverend doctor in the textbook. What are you thinking?… Read More

Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond. Read More

The State Board of Education today took a step toward ensuring that public school students learn the full story of our nation’s history and all of the people who have contributed to it.

The board decided not to create a special stand-alone course in Mexican-American Studies for Texas public schools, but board members did vote to ask publishers to submit instructional materials for locally developed courses in Mexican-American Studies, African-American Studies, Native American Studies, and Asian-American Studies next year. Schools could then use  those instructional materials to teach ethnic studies courses under the Special Topics in Social Studies curriculum standards.

The board voted 11-3 in favor of this approach. Republicans David Bradley of Beaumont Buna, Pat Hardy of Fort Worth and Geraldine “Tincy” Miller of Dallas voted against the proposal. The board must confirm today’s preliminary vote at its official meeting on Friday.

Schools have long used Special Topics in Social Studies curriculum standards to create local courses that are not part of the state curriculum. But they must design those courses and find instructional materials on their own, which many schools lack the time and resources to do. Under today’s agreement, schools that choose to teach one or more ethnic… Read More

The State Board of Education on Tuesday heard from several dozen supporters of a new elective course on Mexican-American Studies for Texas public schools. The board will begin a formal discussion of the proposal, as well as other possible new courses, today. A final vote on the issue is scheduled for Friday. The Texas Freedom Network sent out the following press release Tuesday afternoon.

MEXICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES COURSE WOULD BE AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARD TEACHING THE FULL HISTORY OF AMERICA

TFN President Calls on SBOE to Add MAS Course to State Curriculum

An elective Mexican-American Studies course would be an important step toward teaching public school students the full history of our nation, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said today.

“Right now there are more than 200 elective courses in the state curriculum, including classes on topics like floral design and web gaming,” Miller said. “In a state where the majority of public school students are Hispanic, surely there is room for an elective course that teaches students how Mexican-Americans have helped shape our nation’s history. And this is especially important just a few years after this state board actually debated whether Texas students should learn… Read More