A right-wing organization long involved in the Texas textbook wars wants new history textbooks to portray the treatment of former Confederate states and white southerners after the U.S. Civil War as similar to the British treatment of its colonies in the years leading up the American Revolution.

“Radical Reconstruction (1867-1877) featured numerous serious constitutional problems, many of which reprised Parliament’s violation of American colonial rights before 1776.”

That’s right: Educational Research Analysts, the East Texas outfit founded by the late Mel and Norma Gabler, complains that the people and states that plunged our nation into its bloodiest war — a war they launched in defense of a “right” to enslave millions of human beings — were the real victims in that war and its aftermath. And similar treatment of the colonies, it argues, justified the American Revolution and independence from Great Britain.

The organization criticizes U.S. History textbooks for failing to teach students about these “similarities”:

“U.S. History texts sidestep these stark similarities between the American Revolution and Radical Reconstruction. They ignore the British constitutional basis for colonial revolt in the former. They blame only white racism for opposing the latter.”

Educational Research Analysts is one of the oldest right-wing textbook censorship organizations in the country. Before… Read More

We now have Pearson Education’s response to claims that the publisher’s high school biology textbook for Texas public schools contains factual “errors” in its discussion of the genetic similarities between humans and chimpanzees. In a detailed response, the company essentially says (politely) that the anti-evolution activist who has made the claims simply doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

Neal Frey, who runs an East Texas-based censorship outfit called Educational Research Analysts and rejects the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting evolution, filed his formal complaint against the Pearson textbook with the Texas Education Agency last month. Frey claims that textbook statements pointing out that chimpanzees are humans’ closest living relatives “falsify known facts.” And he demands that state officials require Pearson to “correct” the alleged errors or fine the publisher if it refuses to make the changes.

In its response, Pearson points out that Frey has mischaracterized the technical papers he points to as evidence for his claims. “(N)one of the five technical monographs provides any evidence disputing the conclusion that chimpanzees are humans’ closest living relatives,” Pearson writes, before taking readers through each of those paper’s research and conclusions. The… Read More

The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) adopted new biology textbooks for public high schools last fall, but anti-evolution activists are still trying to censor those textbooks. And they seem to be targeting one in particular: Pearson Education’s high school textbook by authors Ken Miller and Joe Levine.

Through a request under the Texas Public Information Act, last week we obtained from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) a new complaint filed by the head of one of the oldest textbook censorship organizations in Texas. The complaint, filed by Neal Frey of Educational Research Analysts (ERA) in the East Texas town of Longview, alleges that information in the Pearson textbook about the genetic similarities between humans and chimpanzees is factually inaccurate. Frey claims that the textbook is wrong in two places where it says that DNA evidence shows chimpanzees are humans’ closest relatives. (ERA was founded by the late Mel and Norma Gabler, pioneers in the right-wing textbook censorship movement.)

Click here to read Frey’s complaint: Frey_Error_Complaint.

Frey lists seven general argument in support of his complaint against the Pearson textbook; all seven appear on the ERA website. He also claims that one of… Read More

Austin public radio station KUT is airing and streaming online a new documentary about the right’s long-running culture war over public education in Texas. “The Long Game: Texas’ Ongoing Battle for the Direction of the Classroom,” by award-winning producer Trey Kay, looks at the ongoing political witch hunt over CSCOPE as well as the divisive battle over content in textbooks for Texas public schools.

KUT aired the documentary Sunday evening and will re-air it at 7 p.m. Tuesday. If you’re not in the KUT listening area, you can tune in online at kut.orgThe full documentary is also online here and below.

The hour-long program begins with a focus on right-wing attacks on CSCOPE but moves on to discuss how Mel and Norma Gabler helped politicize the adoption of textbooks in Texas decades ago. The East Texas couple — now deceased — founded Educational Research Analysts, which is run today by their protégé Neal Frey in Longview. (Click here for more background information on Educational Research Analysts.) The documentary also examines the battle over what science textbooks should teach about evolution in public school classrooms.

The documentary, which includes comments from Texas Freedom Network President… Read More

Just when it looked like science education might be safe for a while in Texas public schools, the State Board of Education could soon be dragging the state back into the textbook wars over evolution. At last week's meeting in Austin, state board members began mapping out the schedule for adopting textbooks and curriculum standards over the next decade. Although they won't make any final decisions until early next year, board members considered a schedule that would have them adopting new science textbooks in 2013. Those new textbooks would go into Texas classrooms in fall of 2014, replacing others that have been in use since 2004. Read More