Texas SBOE Refuses to Tighten Process for Ensuring Accuracy in Textbooks
Board Votes 8-7 to Reject Establishing Scholar Panels for Reviewing Proposed Textbooks for Factual Errors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2015
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller had the following statement today following a vote by the State Board of Education against a proposal for setting up panels of college and university scholars whose sole responsibility would be to review proposed new textbooks for factual errors.
“With all the controversies that have made textbook adoptions in Texas look like a clown show, it’s mindboggling and downright embarrassing that the board voted this down. Instead of appointing qualified historians, scientists and mathematicians to review proposed textbooks for accuracy, board members are leaving it up to schoolchildren to do the fact checking.”
Miller noted that the SBOE’s current review process is designed to check only whether textbooks conform to state curriculum standards. Review panels report factual errors they might find, but they do not perform a systematic, cover-to-cover review of the textbooks for factual accuracy.
This fall the state was embarrassed when a Houston student found that a geography textbook adopted by the state board in 2014 describes slaves as African migrants brought to America as workers. The publisher is scrambling to correct the passage in its textbooks, which is already in classrooms.
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots education and religious liberties watchdog based in Austin.