State Board of Education

Ryan E. Poppe

Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed a person to lead the State Board of Education during his time in office.   But he’s now being criticized for selecting someone whose own kids have never attended a public school.

For the last two years Houston Republican Donna Bahorich served as a member of the State Board of Education.  Before that she worked for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s previous state senate campaign, and she was one his top choices when asked who should succeed outgoing chair Barbara Cargil.

Flickr user Corey Seeman (cseeman) / cc

The Texas Freedom Network-released study shows the content in some of social studies textbook submitted to the Texas State Board of Education is deeply flawed and biased. The study points to problems with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills that publishers use as an outline.

The Texas Freedom Network’s Kathy Miller said their team of university professors found serious distortions of history on topics ranging from religion and democracy to free enterprise and affirmative action, which she said can be traced back to the social studies standards set by the SBOE in 2010.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Mexican-American studies courses were pushed to the back of the line; sometimes having no curriculum, as here in Texas, or being outright banned in states like Arizona.

Many academics and activists have argued for years that we aren't educating students about their independent cultures and are instead focusing on a predominant culture that focuses on the accomplishments of white Americans. But the changing demographics of Texas raised the issue to a fever pitch last week at the State Board of Education (SBOE).

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

When House Bill 5 passed last year it signaled yet another change in course for public education in Texas. Texas House and Senate members will take another look next Wednesday at the standards they passed last year and how the State Board of Education has implemented them.

The Texas Board of Education, which has long been an ideological battleground for the teaching of evolution, says it will limit the use of citizen review panels and instead give priority to teachers in determining science and history curricula.

Because Texas public schools represent such a large market for textbook publishers, the state has an outsized influence on what is taught in the rest of the country.