It has been a long and contentious journey, one that ended rather anticlimactically on Friday. After receiving thousands of last minute corrections, the State Board of Education adopted all but one of the Texas 2015 social studies textbook submissions. The one not adopted, was because a publisher refused to compromise on the book’s content, and the board believed that content violated state policy.
For the most, however, textbook publishers were able to address both Republican and Democratic groups’ concerns about reportedly “biased” presentations of some content.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 7:51 pm
In the education world, all eyes were on Texas Friday.
For the first time since 2002, the Texas State Board of Education voted to adopt a new generation of social studies products. That includes some 89 textbooks, workbooks and other classroom materials. The vote matters because, with about 5 million students, the state has a big impact on the national textbook market.
UN Conspiracies, Communism and the Common Core: These were just some of the critiques brought up during the final public hearing over the revisions and adoption of the state’s 2015 social studies textbooks.
Conservative activists, and some on the State Board of Education, did not react positively to certain revisions made to a selection of social studies textbooks up for adoption this week.
Mary Lynn Gerstenschlager is a legislative liaison for the conservative Texas Eagle Forum. She testified before the state board on what she saw as a one-sided view of climate change.
Educators are calling for changes, but two of the nation’s largest academic publishers are holding firm on how climate science has been presented in textbooks set to be approved by the Texas State Board of Education next week.
A national group of science educators is pointing to what they call inaccuracies and a political bias in the way that some publishers have presented the subject of climate change in Texas’ 2015 social studies textbooks.
The Texas State Board of Education hears public comment regarding that content today.
Textbooks coming up for approval before the Texas State Board of Education next week are having their facts questioned.
Assertions that free-markets have benefited all cultures over all times as well as the importance of religion in the foundation of American law are just two of the many concerning and some argue misleading facts found in a review of this year's crop of high-school social studies textbooks.
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.
The Texas State Board of Education has revamped how they select people to review school textbooks prior to their adoption. Some on the board were critical of how panelists were selected during the adoption of this year’s science textbook.
During the last round of book reviews it was revealed that some of those selected to review textbooks did not have a background in biology and were supporting teaching creationism, attempting to skew how books explained the Theory of Evolution.
The battle over how evolution will be presented for all public school students in Texas led to rallies and heated testimony during a State Board of Education meeting.
Much of the controversy has to do with a group of people who are proponents of "creationism" that are trying to alter the way evolution is presented in next year’s biology textbook, questioning the soundness of the theory.
Dan Quinn is with the Texas Freedom Network, the group that rallied against the alteration of the materials.