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)

Republicans have nominated yet another creationist to replace retiring State Board of Education member Ken Mercer of San Antonio. The GOP nominee also thinks slavery wasn't the primary cause of the Civil War and is critical of sex education. Her election in November would simply fuel the state board's endless textbook wars. Check out the press release we sent out. Read More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 15, 2018

AUSTIN – Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller warned that revised social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools, given final approval today by the State Board of Education, mislead students about key topics in American and world history.

“This was just an extended exercise in politicians masquerading as historians,” Miller said. “If the facts didn’t conform to their personal beliefs about the past, board members just ignored what teachers and historians were telling them. If this were a classroom, they would get a failing grade and certainly have failed millions of Texas kids across the state.”

Curriculum work groups made up of educators from across the state had worked for month on revisions to deeply controversial social studies curriculum standards adopted by the board in 2010. Even conservative reviewers have called the 2010 standards a “politicized distortion of history.” As in 2010, however, board members this year tossed out many recommendations from the curriculum teams and rejected appeals from historians and other scholars to correct numerous errors and distortions.

Even some of the improvements in the new standards were muddied by other distortions. For example, the board reversed the 2010 decision to… Read More

This week the State Board of Education is set to finish its revision of social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. So we'll soon know whether the board is going to fix distorted, politicized history on a number of topics in the standards -- from slavery and the Civil War to civil rights and Moses. Meanwhile, nearly 200 scholars have signed an open letter to board members, calling on the board to fix the standards, take out the politics and #TeachTheTruth. Read our press release. Read More

Last month the State Board of Education once again turned the revision of social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools into a political circus. Just as they did in 2010, board members ripped apart draft standards proposed by teachers and scholars. In vote after vote, they substituted their political beliefs for historical facts. Join us in calling on the board to stop playing politics with our children's education. Read More

The State Board of Education had the chance this week to #TeachTheTruth in revised social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. But from Moses to the Civil War, board members once again decided to substitute their personal beliefs for facts and accurate history. We just sent out the following press release. Read More

Texas Freedom Network

It took years to convince the @TXSBOE to create a Mexican American studies course for the state's public schools. It's great to see school districts offering it to students. cbsloc.al/3kKHvgR