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
Treue Der Union monument in Comfort, Texas
With the State Board of Education currently debating whether to #TeachTheTruth about the history of slavery, the Confederacy and the Civil War in Texas public schools, a group of activists has launched a new effort to bring attention to the real history of that period. In August the group plans a march commemorating the 1862 massacre of pro-Union German immigrants in Texas who had refused to take up arms for the Confederacy. The Treue Der Union monument in Comfort honors their memory and courage. Texas Public Radio aired a story about monument and its history in May.
The August 11-12 march from Comfort to Fredericksburg will include various stops with presentations from organizers, activists and historians. Check out the Facebook event page here. You can also learn more about our efforts to #TeachTheTruth in social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools here.
The following guest post by Austin Community College Professor Bryan Register provides more information about the August March for History in Comfort.
On May 17-19, a group of hard-working activists from Take ‘Em Down Jax in Jacksonville, Fla., marched 40 miles to call on local government to take down monuments that honor secession and slavery.… Read More
Two big problems got the most attention at last week's State Board of Education discussion of proposed revisions to social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools: the whitewashing of slavery's role in causing the Civil War and exaggerations of the influence of religion on the American founding. Unfortunately, we saw warning signs that some state board members still aren't ready to #TeachTheTruth. Read More