We just sent out the following press statement after the State Board of Education’s vote today on ethnic studies courses in Texas public schools:
The Texas State Board of Education today voted 12-2 to call for publishers to submit instructional materials next year for locally developed elective courses in Mexican-American, African-American, Asian-American and Native American studies. Districts choosing to offer such courses could do so using the state’s Special Topics in Social Studies curriculum standards. The state board took this action in place of adding an elective course on Mexican-American Studies to the official state curriculum. TFN President Kathy Miller had this to say about today’s vote:
“While we would have preferred a state elective course that recognized the substantial way in which Mexican-Americans, African-American, women and others have shaped Texas and our nation, today’s vote represents an important step toward ensuring that more students get a fuller understanding of our history and the diverse cultures that have shaped it. Just four years ago this board was divided over how or even whether students should learn about American heroes like Cesar Chavez, Thurgood Marshall and Dolores Huerta. So we’re encouraged by this progress, especially as we look ahead to… Read More
Far-right activists are furious that the State Board of Education on Wednesday moved to make it easier for Texas public schools to offer elective courses in ethnic studies. Now some of those extremists have launched a racially divisive and deeply offensive campaign to stop the board from implementing that plan.
This image from the Facebook page of Voices Empower, a political consulting firm aligned with tea partyers, calls on board members to vote against a preliminary agreement they struck on Wednesday. If the board votes for final approval of that agreement on Friday, the state will ask publishers to submit instructional materials next year for local courses in Mexican-American, African-American, Native American and Asian-American studies. Schools that choose to offer those courses would do so under the state’s Special Topics in Social Studies curriculum standards.
That doesn’t sit well with the extremists at Voices Empower. (Run by Alice Linahan, Voices Empower helped push last year’s anti-CSCOPE witch hunt that portrayed a popular curriculum tool used in hundreds of Texas schools as Marxist, anti-Christian and pro-Muslim. That campaign fizzled when a review sponsored by the State Board of Education found no… 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
This week TFN launched #SupportMAS, a campaign to encourage the Texas State Board to add an elective course in Mexican-American studies to the state curriculum. In announcing the campaign, we asked a friend of TFN to explain why the state needs a MAS course. His message is below.
You can add your name to the petition by going to tfn.org/supportMAS.
By Ruben Garza I’d like to ask for your support for a Mexican-American studies course in Texas schools. But before I tell you why, let me tell you a little about myself.
I grew up the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. My days were spent in places like Edinburg and McAllen, but also around communities like San Juan and Hidalgo. We have schools in the Valley named after men called Austin and Travis, and also Gonzalez, De Zavala and Chavez. You’ll find that our streets, neighborhoods and even rivers carry a similar mix of diverse names.
What’s fascinating to me is that you’ll find these names all over much of Texas. Make no mistake, Mexican-Americans helped shape Texas and its history, not just the Valley.
But in my case, I didn’t have a real… Read More