The State Board of Education's revision of its politically biased curriculum standards for social studies classes in Texas public schools is moving into a new and important phase. On Tuesday (June 12) the board will hold a public hearing on proposed revisions drafted over the past several months by teams of scholars and educators. Now the focus turns to whether state board members will put political agendas aside, listen to the concerns of educators and #TeachTheTruth. Read More
Americans across the country are calling for the removal of statues that lie about the Confederacy and glorify its “heroes." But whitewashing the Confederacy's racist history goes far beyond statues, especially in Texas.… Read More
There is, sadly, a considerable list of divisive figures who have served on the State Board of Education. But even within that context, it's hard to name one who has been more divisive than David Bradley, R-BeaumontBuna. On Monday Bradley announced he would not seek re-election next year and will retire from the SBOE District 7 seat he's held since he was first elected in 1996. Read More
TFN PRESIDENT: STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS WILL USE THIS BILL TO RETURN TEXAS TO THE WORST YEARS OF THE TEXTBOOK WARS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 28, 2017
AUSTIN – Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is warning that today’s passage of SB801 by the House and Senate threatens to return Texas to the worst years of textbook censorship by the State Board of Education.
SB801 allows the state board to determine whether content in textbooks under consideration for use in Texas public schools is “suitable for the subject and grade level.” Current state board member and former chair Barbara Cargill, R–The Woodlands, has already made clear she and her colleagues will use that provision to reject textbook content they don’t like.
Prior to 1995, state board members sometimes demanded hundreds of changes to textbook content they didn’t like, often for personal or political reasons rather than factual accuracy. If publishers didn’t make the changes, the state board could reject their textbooks for use in Texas public schools. But in 1995 the Legislature finally reined in this authority, requiring that the board approve any textbook that conforms to the state’s curriculum standards and is free… Read More
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2017
The Texas Senate voted today to approve HB1291, which the Senate Education Committee revised to allow the State Board of Education by bypass legislative safeguards against textbook censorship. The House must now either approve the revised bill or send it to a conference committee.
The Senate version of HB1291 would allow SBOE members to reject textbook content they deem as not “suitable for the subject and grade level for which the instructional material was submitted.” That highly subjective standard would effectively sweep away strict limits the 1995 Legislature placed on the ability of the SBOE to edit textbook content.
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement:
“One word can change a lot, and indulging the misguided desire of politicians to decide which facts in public school textbooks are ‘suitable’ and which are not would be a disaster. This bill would effectively sweep away key safeguards against textbook censorship that the Legislature wisely put in place more than 20 years ago. So the facts Texas kids learn in their classrooms would be determined by whatever political majority controls the state board, not by teachers and scholars… Read More