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

The TFN Education Fund sent the following press release regarding proposed social studies textbooks up for consideration by the Texas State Board of Education this year.

Scholar Reviews Highlight Problems in Proposed Texas Social Studies Textbooks

Exaggerations, Distortions Reflect Flaws in Controversial Curriculum Standards

 

Social studies textbooks under state consideration for public schools this year include serious distortions of history and contemporary issues on topics ranging from religion and democracy to the free enterprise system and affirmative action, according to scholars who reviewed the new instructional materials for the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund.

Many of those problems are linked to heavily politicized and controversial curriculum standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBOE) in 2010, TFN Education Fund President Kathy Miller said.

“In all fairness, it’s clear that the publishers struggled with these flawed standards and still managed to do a good job in some areas, Miller said. “On the other hand, a number of textbook passages essentially reflect the ideological beliefs of politicians on the state board rather than sound scholarship and factual history.”

The TFN Education Fund asked 10 scholars to review content in textbooks submitted for history, government and geography classes in Grades 6-12:… Read More

Have you been checking our #ThrowBackTexas page, where we look at what happened when right-wingers on the State Board of Education vandalized social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools four years ago? Even the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute has called the U.S. History standards adopted by the state board back in 2010 a “politicized distortion of history” filled with “misrepresentations at every turn.” Among the changes far-right board members made to the standards was deleting revered labor organizer and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta.

Now the state board is considering new textbooks based on those deeply flawed and heavily politicized curriculum standards. The state board will hold two public hearings on the textbooks this fall and is scheduled to vote on which ones to adopt for Texas public schools in November.

Click here to find out how you can help ensure that Texas students get accurate textbooks that are based on facts and honest scholarship instead of the personal and political agendas of right-wing politicians on the State Board of Education.

And keep an eye on our #ThrowBackTexas page for updates every Thursday.… Read More

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“I think everyone here is doing it because we believe in the message and we ultimately want people to be saved. We want people to realize the Bible is trustworthy in matters of history and when it touches science. And because you can trust it in those areas, you can trust it when it comes to how to inherit eternal life.”

– Jason Lisle, an astrophysicist and research director at the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research, which wants to show that science proves the biblical version of creation.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.Read More

Maybe sometimes a far-right politician can be too extreme even for Texas Republicans.

On Tuesday state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, lost big in the Republican runoff race for a Texas Senate seat north of Houston. State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, won in a landslide, getting about 67 percent of the vote to Toth’s 33 percent to earn the GOP nomination for the District 4 Senate seat.

Both candidates promoted their tea party bona fides during the campaign. But Toth’s record is, frankly, downright nutty. Last year, for example, Toth was a leading legislative critic of CSCOPE, the curriculum management tool created through a collaboration of state Education Service Centers. The vast majority — nearly 900 — of Texas school districts have used CSCOPE. But tea partyers and other far-right activists manufactured a witch hunt that succeeded in gutting the program. They complained that the program’s lessons were anti-American and anti-Christian and promoted Marxism and Islam. Toth bought into that nonsense and became a major backer of the witch hunt, although a State Board of Education-sponsored review later found that the politically charged claims were bogus.

Toth also tells a ridiculous story to promote his opposition to sex education that includes information about birth control. During the 2013 legislative session, Toth said his… Read More

The State Board of Education is set this year to adopt new social studies textbooks for Texas public schools. So we went back to our files to see what happened during the last social studies textbook adoption in the Lone Star State more than a decade ago.

During public hearings and in written comments submitted in 2002, right-wing activists and state board members raised numerous political objections to content in history, geography, government and economics textbooks publishers had submitted to the board for approval. The pressure they put on publishers to bow to political demands and alter their textbooks succeeded in a number of areas. Following are ten of the worst changes publishers agreed to make:… Read More

Achieving Together TX

ICYMI new blog post this week: "HIV Prevention Begins with Comprehensive Sex-Ed" by the wonderful Melissa Pintor Carnagey w/ great quotes from the folks at @TFN w/ their #teachthetruth campaign. #HIV #SexEd #SexPositive #ThursdayThoughts achievingtogethertx.… pic.twitter.com/4A7f…