Texas Textbook Controversy

Modern day censorship in Texas

What is happening?

In 2010 new curricular standards were made by The State Board of Education. History as well as science textbooks were made in regulation of these new standards. The book was accused of being biased and misinformed (Taboada). The textbook portrays Islam as a very violent and that Islamist Fundamentalists are linked to international terrorism (Taboada, Jervist). The use of "negro race", and the lack of attention on Native American people and culture is displayed in these very controversial history books (Taboada). They "sugar coat historical racial segregation", and over praise capitalism (Weissert). Several complains have been made about a cartoon showing aliens coming to the United States because of the affirmative actions policy (Taboada). The textbooks makes the spread of Christianity seem very peaceful which was anything but that (Taboada). The theory of evolution, cell formation, and the Bing Bang Theory have been eliminated from the science textbooks because they do not agree with the pro-Christian agenda. The teaching of Moses being the first democratic figure and having an great influence on the founding fathers is included in the social studies books (Brick, Jervis).
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Who is behind this?

In 2010 The Board of Education in Texas made new standards regarding the education system (Taboada). The Board of Education is mainly Republican controlled resulting in the very conservative and pro-Republican ideas (Weissert). The official members of the school board had the final say in approving these textbooks by voting.

Why are these textbooks bad?

These textbooks are an example of modern day censorship. These textbooks include conservative ideas that kids not only in Texas will be exposed to, because Texas is such a popular seller of textbooks, the other states adapting these books will be affected as well. Here in New Jersey we separate religion and school but the new textbooks in the lone star state have strong christian ideas such as the eliminating the teaching of evolution, cell formation, and the Big Bang Theory (Brick).

The kids in Texas and in schools that use these books are being deprived. Their education is one sided, biased and in some cases purely false. This is a problem because in a sense they are brainwashing them into thinking that Moses was a democratic leader and that Muslims are terrible people. The lack of exposure to different ideas such as evolution and the Big Bang Theory will not give kids the opportunity to believe in what they truly believe in. The education the kids will now receive will truly alter the future because today's educations system will matter when our generation will become in charge.

Why are they allowing this?

The reasons to these curricular standards and were excepted is because the board is mostly constructed of republicans (Weissert). The strong political ideas and religious ones as well are an example of the board putting their conservative ideas into children 's heads. Everyone wants people to believe what they believe. The boards decision to add these ideas into the curriculum shows their want for the future of Texas to stay the same.
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  • In 2010 new curricular standards were made by The State Board of Education. Through a set of meeting the new curriculum standards won to a vote of 10 to 5 (McKinley Jr.).
  • On September 17, 2013 students march through the University of Texas during the board of educations meeting on biology textbooks. Many participants were holding signs. Some include the sayings, "Stand up for science" and "Texas kids deserve a future" (Rich).
  • In November of 2014 meeting were made to vote for more than 100 proposed textbooks. At first they could not gather enough votes but they eventually got enough votes for the books (Weissert).
  • In between the years 2010 and 2014 many accusations were made against the books. The Texas Freedom Network funded a search of the books and found many inaccuracies (Taboada).
  • In the 2015-16 school year children living in or in states where the books have been adopted in will have these books.
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What people are saying?

"The school board members are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts." - Benjamin T. Jealous, president of the N.A.A.C.P (Brick).

“They are going overboard, they are not experts, they are not historians, they are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world.” - Mary Helen Berlanga (McKinley Jr.). (Shown above)

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