Some of you might have seen over the weekend a Facebook post — now gone viral — from a Houston mom who was shocked to see the Atlantic slave trade portrayed as a “migration” of “workers” from Africa in a new high school geography textbook. That textbook is one of scores of social studies textbooks adopted by the Texas State Board of Education last fall. The textbooks went into classrooms at the beginning of the current school year.
Over the weekend publisher McGraw-Hill acknowledged that the textbook passage about the African slave trade passage was misleading and said it would immediately move to correct it. Various news outlets have been reporting about this newest controversy involving Texas textbooks — another black eye for Texas.
We just sent out the following press release:
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller responded today to reports about how a new high school geography textbook mischaracterizes the slave trade as simply a migration of workers in American history:
“First of all, we are encouraged that the publisher is correcting this passage downplaying the history of slavery in the United States. But it’s no accident that this happened in Texas. We have a… Read More
With all of the damage culture warriors on the State Board of Education have done — or tried to do — to the education of Texas public school students in their science and history classrooms, it can be easy to forget what they’ve also done on sex education. Today the online news magazine Slate posted the above video, which examines how two high school health textbooks from the same publisher address sex education — one submitted for adoption in Texas in 2004 and the other a decade earlier. That abstinence-only textbook from 2004, which doesn’t include a shred of information on contraception, remains in classrooms today.
Slate focused this video on the health textbooks from just one publisher, Holt, Rinehart and Winston. But publisher Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s health textbooks were also abstinence-only. Holt and Glencoe essentially split the Texas health textbook market between them in 2004-05.
The State Board of Education hasn’t set an adoption date for the next generation of health textbooks for Texas public schools. We’re likely about five years away, at least. Meanwhile, Texas has the one of the highest teen birth rates among the nation’s 50 states — the fifth highest, in fact, as of 2013. And the Texas Legislature still refuses to encourage school districts… Read More
Ever since the tragedy in South Carolina on June 17, when a 21-year-old suspect motivated by white supremacist beliefs shot and killed nine African-American worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, there has been a renewed attention on Confederate history and what caused the Civil War. We here at TFN have even received a number of press inquiries for our work in making sure Texas textbooks teach history accurately.
The thing is, there actually is no debating what caused the Civil War. It was slavery and the insistence of the Southern states to keep it.
Here, Colonel Ty Seidule, professor of history at the United States Military Academy at West Point, is out with a video that will make those who like to skew history to fit their agenda — looking at you, far-right members of the Texas State Board of Education — uncomfortable.
The Wall Street Journal put up an editorial this week praising Gov. Greg Abbott for his appointment of Donna Bahorich to chair the Texas State Board of Education.
TFN was just one voicing concern over Bahorich’s appointment, in part because she “rejected public education for her own family” and home-schooled her children.
And here’s some of the logic the Journal used to praise the Bahorich appointment:
The Texas State Board of Education *IS* the board of public schools! The board does nothing else other than oversee the state’s public school system. If the board had authority over all education, as you seem to imply, then they would also have power to regulate home-schoolers, which, ironically, they don’t.