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

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

It’s #ThrowbackThursday, and rather than posting pictures of the horrible outfit you wore 20 years ago, why not drop a little knowledge on your friends?

Right now the State Board of Education is trying to #ThrowbackTexas to a scarier time. In the alternate version of history promoted by some board members, slavery wasn’t that big of a deal, the separation of church and state was never in the Constitution and women just sat back and waited for men to give them the right to vote.

Yes, there are SBOE members who actually believe this. And this year those board members will decide what history textbooks Texas public school students will use for much of the next decade.

TFN wants the SBOE to adopt textbooks that teach facts and honest history, not the personal beliefs of politicians. That’s why we’re starting a #ThrowbackTexas weekly feature, giving you insights into the worldview that far-right SBOE members want to inject into our kids’ history textbooks.

First in our series is a Daily Show clip from 2010 that excoriates the SBOE in a way that only Jon Stewart can. Stewart was talking about the board’s revision of social studies… Read More

The Texas State Board of Education will vote in November on new social studies textbooks that will be in Texas classrooms for the next decade. Earlier this month, official state review panels met in Austin to vet those books. As we did during the science textbook adoption process last year, the Texas Freedom Network researched who got appointed to the social studies panels this summer. We just sent the following press release describing what we found — the news isn’t encouraging.

When you’re done reading, head to tfn.org/history to sign the petition calling for classroom materials that offer an honest, accurate portrayal of history and are free of political agendas.

A Texas Freedom Network analysis has revealed that numerous qualified scholars were bypassed for appointment to official state panels assigned to review proposed social studies textbooks for Texas public schools this year. Equally shocking, individuals with no qualifications in a relevant field or teaching experience got places on the panels.

State Board of Education (SBOE) members nominated many of the unqualified reviewers. In one instance the chair of the SBOE facilitated the appointment of a Texas House candidate who argues against separation of church and state.

“This is just the… Read More

What is it with right-wingers who seem to have so much trouble with American history? See this tweet today from Peggy Venable, Texas policy director for the Koch-funded, anti-government Americans for Prosperity:

“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading” — Thomas Jefferson

Except that there’s no evidence Jefferson ever said that. The Monticello website notes that this quotation has been making the rounds on the Internet since about 2001:

This quotation has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. The language is somewhat uncharacteristic of Jefferson’s style. “Stand around” in the sense used here is not an expression that can be found in Jefferson’s letters. He almost always wrote “every body” instead of “everybody.” And there are no instances of the word “reload” (or variations thereof) referring to firearms in Jefferson’s writings.

Of course, someone posting a dubious quote from a famous American is hardly news on the Internet. Venable has plenty of company there — on both sides of the political spectrum.

But we’re fascinated by how often leaders and activists on the far right misquote the Founders and get so much else about our nation’s history so incredibly wrong — especially since… Read More