FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2018
AUSTIN – The State Board of Education’s preliminary vote today to move forward on approving curriculum standards for a state elective course in Mexican American studies is an important step forward for Texas public school students, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said.
“This should have happened four years ago, but we’re pleased to see the board move forward on this today,” Miller said. “It’s important for students to learn that the story of Texas and our nation includes the experiences and contributions of Mexican Americans and other people from diverse backgrounds.”
The board also approved a motion to create a process for approving additional elective courses in ethnic studies.
Advocates called for the adoption of a Mexican American studies course as a state elective in 2014, arguing that official curriculum standards would make it easier for local school districts to offer the courses as electives and persuade publishers to create appropriate instructional materials.
The state board decided instead – exactly four years ago today – to issue a call for publishers to submit those instructional materials without official curriculum standards. In 2016 and 2017, the board rejected the only two textbooks submitted for adoption. One, Mexican American Heritage in 2016, was plagued by factual errors, promoted offensive stereotypes and whitewashed discussions about slavery and racism.
The state board is set to revise – or “streamline” – curriculum standards for social studies this year. Critics have pointed out that the deeply controversial standards, which the board adopted in 2010, also promote inaccuracies and do a poor job of covering the experiences of ethnic minorities in American history.
The board is set to take a second vote on today’s motions on Friday.
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization that supporters religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.