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Posts Tagged ‘social studies’

Documenting the ways that proposed Mexican-American Studies textbook sucks

Read the report. Saying that a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook is “dripping with racism and intolerance,” several educators and students are calling for the State Board of Education to reject the controversial book. “It is an utter shame we must deal with racially offensive academic work,” State Board member Ruben Cortez Jr., D-Brownsville, said Tuesday […]

Our stupid social studies

Unbelievable, except that it totally is believable. The publisher of one of Texas’ controversial social studies textbooks has agreed to change a caption that describes African slaves as immigrant “workers” after a Houston-area mom’s social media complaints went viral over the weekend. On Wednesday, Roni Dean-Burren of Pearland posted a screen shot on Facebook of […]

SBOE adopts history textbook changes it hasn’t read

Awesome. After adopting hundreds of pages in last minute updates and corrections, the Texas State Board of Education approved new social studies textbooks Friday. All but the five Democrats on the 15-member board voted to accept products from all publishers except Worldview Software, which they rejected because of concerns over factual accuracy. “When I think […]

SBOE defers new textbook decision

They’re funny even when they’re not trying to be. After an afternoon spent wrangling over the proper definition of jihad and the influence of Moses on the Founding Fathers, it was Common Core that ultimately derailed the State Board of Education’s initial vote on giving a stamp of approval to new social studies textbooks Tuesday. […]

It’s textbook approval time again

You know what that means, because we can’t do this sort of thing without controversy and a generous side order of knuckleheadedness. Bowing to public pressure, the world’s largest textbook publisher has revised misleading language on global warming in a proposed Texas reader. But another major imprint has yet to do the same, worrying scientists […]

Next in “What’s wrong with our textbooks”: Climate change

From the inbox: An examination of how proposed social studies textbooks for Texas public schools address climate change reveals distortions and bias that misrepresent the broad scientific consensus on the phenomenon. Climate education specialists at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) examined the proposed textbooks, which publishers submitted for consideration by the State Board […]

Time again to talk textbooks

Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network sounded the alarm in the Sunday op-eds. The last time Texas adopted social studies textbooks – in 2002 – political activists and members of the state education board themselves demanded scores of changes to content they didn’t like. Publishers resisted some, such as demands to downplay slavery as […]

SBOE does something OK

I know, I’m as surprised as you are. Instead of making Mexican-American studies an official high school course, the Texas State Board of Education has settled on a tentative compromise that would allow school districts to decide whether to offer the course. “It wasn’t necessarily what we were hoping, with a stand-alone course for Mexican-American […]

HISD board votes for Mexican-American studies class

You would think this wouldn’t be a big deal. The Houston school board, representing the largest district in Texas, threw its support Thursday behind the creation of a Mexican-American studies course in Texas public schools. The 9-0 vote followed some debate over whether the district would appear to be favoring one culture over another. “Unanimous […]

From the “Don’t know much about history” department

Ladies and gentlemen, your State Board of Education at work. A report ripping the new social studies standards for schoolchildren offers recommendations for how teachers can best skirt its shortcomings — although a state agency responsible for the group that produced the study disavows it. The controversial curriculum standards approved by the State Board of […]

Republican legislators want SBOE do over on social studies

Good for them. Texas House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; Public Education Chairman Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands; and House Administration Chairman Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; criticized the new [social studies] standards. Various civil rights and minority advocacy organizations have opposed the standards, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative-leaning education think tank, gave the […]

By the way, our social studies standards still suck

So says a conservative think tank. In a report [released Wednesday], the Thomas B. Fordham Institute gives the Texas social studies curriculum standards a “D” while accusing “the conservative majority” of using the curriculum “to promote its political priorities, molding the telling of the past to justify its current views and aims.” “Biblical influences on […]

White wants to “undo some of the damage” the SBOE has done to social studies

Lord knows, there’s a lot of it to undo. Bill White wants to start with changing the Chair. Some Texans have called for a limited review to address some of the more controversial standards that will influence new history, government, geography and economics textbooks for 4.8 million public school children. Only the board chairman sets […]

The clown show finally calls it a wrap

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some other state to be the national laughingstock again. The Court of Criminal Appeals gives it a good run for its money, but you just can’t out-embarrass the SBOE, and every time they meet it gets worse. All I can say is thank goodness that two […]

Back to the clown show

So here’s a bunch of coverage from yesterday’s SBOE hearings: from the Chron, the DMN, the Statesman, the Trib, TFN, and BOR. Very short summary: Many people testified. Some said crazy things. Others begged the SBOE to not enshrine crazy things in the standard social studies curriculum. Some Democratic lawmakers reminded the SBOE that funding […]

And the clown show gets underway again

Here’s your TFN liveblogging of today’s SBOE social studies hearings. Brian Thevenot of The Trib is also there, and he reports that an interesting character has asked the Board to slow down. Former U.S. Secretary of Education and Houston Superintendent Rod Paige this morning asked the State Board of Education to delay adopting its new […]

Briefly noted

Some interesting things from today that I wanted to note… There are plenty of people who want to be on the Appropriations Committee, so putting some who doesn’t want to be there, like State Rep. Joe Driver of Dallas, doesn’t make much sense. But once you’re on Appropriations, whether you wanted it or not, you […]

Science textbook delay

The adoption of new science textbooks may be delayed a year as a budget maneuver. The $1.4 billion price tag for new science textbooks and other materials has been causing sticker shock among state officials bracing for the upcoming budget shortfall. So, the State Board of Education on Tuesday must decide whether to push ahead […]

“We went out and won some elections”

I know people who read this blog understand the importance of voting in every election, but I think it’s good to be reminded from time to time. So with that, this Statesman article about the current state of the SBOE and how they managed to do so much damage to the public school curriculum, sums […]

White tells the SBOE to wait till next year

As we know, the SBOE is set to take a final vote on their proposed revisions to the social studies textbook standards. They’ve received a lot of mostly negative feedback so far, but have said they’re still considering specific suggestions. Here’s what Bill White had to say to them. I write to urge the State […]

They get letters

Many people have told the SBOE what they can do with their proposed textbook standards for social studies. The State Board of Education had received more than 20,000 public comments as of last week on the proposed revision of social studies curriculum standards. That incomplete tally — the monthlong comment period ends May 19 — […]

The historians have their say

The various legislative groups held their SBOE hearings on Wednesday. In pointing out the many ways in which that unesteemed body screwed the pooch on social studies, they joined with others in calling for a delay in adopting the new curriculum standard, pointing out that doing so could save the state a few bucks at […]

Where’s Gail?

This morning at 9 AM in Austin, a hearing will be held by various legislative groups including the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the Legislative Study Group, the House Black Caucus, and Senate Hispanic Caucus, to discuss the recent changes to the social studies curriculum. You know, the whole dropping of Thomas Jefferson thing and all […]

Historians want SBOE to hold it right there

A group of historians have called on the SBOE to review and rethink its recent changes to the social studies curriculum. Historians are decrying the social studies curriculum standards crafted by the State Board of Education that they say misrepresent and distort the historical record. About 800 college history professors from across the country have […]

Bill Hobby bashes the SBOE

Boy, I don’t know who put the hot sauce in former Lite Guv Bill Hobby’s Cheerios, but keep it up, I say. Go read it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean. When you’re done with that, you can go sign State Rep. Mike Villarreal’s petition calling on the SBOE to knock it off […]

Just a minute, SBOE

I almost missed this op-ed by State Rep. Carol Alvarado about everyone’s favorite clown show, the State Board of Education. In it, she hits on a theme we’re seeing more and more of. How can board members claim that our students will be college-ready when those same members use curriculum standards to rewrite history? For […]

More legislative pushback against the SBOE

Good. Texas risks becoming a national laughingstock by diminishing Thomas Jefferson, banning the word “capitalism,” and otherwise distorting history for its public schools, the chairman of the Legislature’s largest caucus said Tuesday, announcing a hearing on the state’s proposed social studies curriculum standards. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus will bring academic experts to the state […]

Turns out we’re not actually destroying the world one textbook at a time

Good to know. Though Texas has been painted in scores of media reports as the big dog that wags the textbook industry tail, that’s simply no longer true — and will become even less true in the future, as technological advances and political shifts transform the marketplace, said Jay Diskey, executive director of the Association […]

A fine whine from the SBOE

Apparently, some of the wingnut members of our State Board of Education got their widdle feelings hurt by some of the coverage of their most recent hijinks, in particular about their amendment to remove Thomas Jefferson from the world history standards. It was all just so unfair that SBOE Chair Gail Lowe took the time […]

“The list of shame”

Here are three last reminders of that gang of idiots known as the State Board of Education before they return in May to finalize the vandalism they committed last week. First up, from the Texas Freedom Network: So what happened? Over just a few days in January and this month, the state board shredded nearly […]

The SBOE has low self-esteem

I think I finally figured out why they do stuff like this. The State Board of Education tentatively approved new standards for social studies Friday with members divided along party lines — some blasting them as a fraud and conservative whitewash, others praising them as a tribute to the Founding Fathers that rightly portrays America […]

The SBOE continues on its rampage

Sadly, despite the encouraging election results in the SBOE races last week, there’s still plenty of opportunity for the Board’s troglodyte caucus to wreak havoc on the schoolchildren of Texas. The State Board of Education’s Hispanic and African American members clashed with its Anglo majority for hours today over how to present history to the […]

Liveblogging the SBOE social studies hearings

No, not me. I’m not there, and besides, I’m no good at liveblogging. Here’s all the coverage you could need, from people who actually are good at this. First and foremost, the indispensable Texas Freedom Network. Stephen Schafersman, blogging for the Texas Observer. Dave Mann, also with the Observer. Brian Thevenot, writing for the Trib. […]

Time to send in the clowns

You know that old expression about how no one’s life, liberty, or property are safe when the Legislature is in session? That’s how I feel these days about the State Board of Education. And that means it’s loin-girding time, because here they come again, to finish off the social studies textbook standards that they deferred […]