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
Buckle up, science-lovers and other rational Texans.
Science is coming back to the Texas State Board of Education this year.
The SBOE has announced plans to “streamline” the state’s controversial science standards. And that means evolution will be back in the crosshairs.
We’ll have much more information about this process soon, but for now, two things you can do to help:
Join A TFN Rapid Response Team Sign up for TFN’s “Stand Up for Science” team, and we’ll update you with the latest news on the science campaign.
Join An SBOE Review Team TFN can help you apply to serve on an official SBOE review committee. These are the folks who will draft initial recommendations for changes to the standards. We must ensure qualified, reasonable people serve on those teams. (The application deadline is March 16.)
Let’s do this… Read More