textbooks

How Textbooks Can Teach Different Versions Of History

Jul 13, 2015

This summer there's been an intense debate surrounding the Confederate flag and the legacy of slavery in this country.

In Texas that debate revolves around new textbooks that 5 million students will use when the school year begins next month.

The question is, are students getting a full and accurate picture of the past?

Eleventh-grade U.S. history teacher Samantha Manchac is concerned about the new materials and is already drawing up her lesson plans for the coming year. She teaches at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a public school in Houston.

Flickr user Corey Seeman (cseeman) / cc

Many problems still exist in how Texas adopts its school textbooks say critics. Reforming the process failed to gain traction in the state's 84th legislative session. 

The troubles have been well documented by Texas journalists over the past 10 years and even some documentarians got in on the action.

In Texas, there is a debate over textbooks. Last November, the Republican-controlled State Board of Education voted to adopt new textbooks that will hit classrooms for more than 5 million public school students this fall.

The textbooks will contain information that is challenged by academics and that critics say is making education in Texas far too political. It all started back in 2010, when the board voted to adopt new standards for textbook manufacturers to follow.

Ryan E. Poppe

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. 

Texas Hits The Books

Nov 21, 2014

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.

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