Blacklisting Texas Textbooks

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And so it begins.

It was only a matter of time before concerned citizens in other states began launching efforts to stop their public schools from buying textbooks written by publishers to meet the increasingly politicized curriculum standards adopted by the State Board of Education in Texas.

Jim Broadway, publisher of the State School News Service in Illinois, puts it this way:

“If Texas influences textbook publishers so profoundly, how can we prevent such reactionary teachings from polluting the classrooms of Illinois?”

Ouch.

This and other reactions to the Texas board’s demolition of proposed social studies curriculum standards last week should send a clear message to Texas lawmakers: our state is in danger of getting a reputation as an educational backwater in which ideological agendas undermine the ability of public schools to prepare our children to succeed in a 21st century world.

How long will it be before business and industry start to see Texas as a poor place to set up shop and find educated, capable employees? How long will it be before admissions boards at colleges and universities start downgrading their opinions about the academic qualifications of Texas high school graduates?

If they really care about the education of the next generation of Texas public school students, it’s time for the Legislature to act. You can join efforts to reform the State Board of Education by signing on to our new Just Educate campaign here.

16 Responses to “Blacklisting Texas Textbooks”

  1. Maggie Says:

    Check out Margaret Krome with the Captial News in Madison, Wisconsin.

  2. Ben Says:

    Ouch is right, but this is exactly what we need. The more attention drawn to these dunderheads, the better.

    Anyone see Colbert last night?

  3. Michael Says:

    I note a number of grass-roots efforts coordinated through places like Facebook to gather forces to tell book publishers “If you publish a textbook that is approved in Texas, we won’t buy it for districts in this state. Period.”

  4. galen schlich Says:

    How else can one voice one’s opposition to this issue? Are there any officials to call and voice one’s opinion to?

  5. Texas Granny Says:

    I have lived in this Texas for the last eighteen years and in that time, the religious crazies have taken over. I lived here in the lae 60’s and early 70s for a time and it was a great place to live…none of this Christian bigotry as it is today. These people are a true example of what we see in the Mideast and call the Taliban or other Muslim Faith extremists. We have a 50% high school dropout rate and we are third in the Nation for teen pregnancy, #1 for Second teen pregnancies, 1st in underfed, undernourished children, #1 in highest healthcare costs, and out of a population of 22 -23 Million, 9.5 Million residents have no health insurance. Texas has dumbed itself down to the point that it is embarrassing to say you are from Texas. We have a pompous @$$ for a Governor and all he can tout is how we draw business to this state. Why wouldn’t they come, they can pollute to their heart’s content and hold NO accountability for it, plus we pay them with tax abatements for eons. Unions workers are a rare commodity in our state as it is a right to work state…right to work for less, right to work for lower wages and no benefits. It’s just a real paradise in Texas. Texas pols are “incremental thinkers”…do just enough to get by. It is a big place with a whole range of problems. My husband and I are selling our home here this year and moving on. If Texas textbooks come your way…stage a boycott. It has been my experience that growing up fat and stupid is no the best way to get through life. I live in San Antonio….we are #1 in fat people.

  6. Cytocop Says:

    Texas Granny, I’m an import to San Antonio. I am just very thankful I never had children in TX public schools since I couldn’t afford private school so that they could get a good education.

    I generally like Texas but the sociopolitical climate here is becoming intolerable. Even “educated” people here are incredibly brainwashed by the Religious Right.

    However, I’m not convinced that everyone in other states isn’t just as whacked-out as the TX RR. Am I the only one who has noticed the rising tide of nationwide radical conservatism? Most Democrats – even the president – have caved to the Right, vis-a-vis health care “reform” which is nothing but a huge gift on a silver platter to the insurance industry and conservatives.

  7. trog69 Says:

    Cytocop, exactly right. This fiasco is going to play out in a lot more school districts throughout this country, and in Europe as well.

    The magic of the right has been to completely absolve themselves of the very things they blame on the left.

    Texas Granny, you had me ’til you starting spouting about fat people. Yeah, they’re the real problem in society today. I mean, you can’t even spell fascist without “fat”, amirite?

  8. jdg Says:

    Michael Says:
    March 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm
    I note a number of grass-roots efforts coordinated through places like Facebook to gather forces to tell book publishers “If you publish a textbook that is approved in Texas, we won’t buy it for districts in this state. Period.”

    How about if the texas sboe approves the book, texas doesn’t buy it? How’s that sound?

  9. Concerned TX Grandfather Says:

    The question was asked … “How long will it be before business and industry start to see Texas as a poor place to set up shop and find educated, capable employees? How long will it be before admissions boards at colleges and universities start downgrading their opinions about the academic qualifications of Texas high school graduates?”

    I believe this was about 8 years ago with the fundamentalist driven SBOE eliminated the teaching of Earth Science in the public schools because that pesky geological time scale so messed with their 6000 year old universe beliefs and their desire to ram those same beliefs down the throats of every student in Texas public schools. I use those words specifically because it has become so popular with the religious right to use those same words about everything they do not like … like that pesky 600,000,000 to 4.5 billion year old time scale.

    Now ask yourself, which major oil companies quit recruiting geoscientists from Texas Universities around 5 to 8 years ago as they all began to find out how geology is no longer taught until college level … in the same state that proclaims to have the oil capital of the world? A state which now proudly proclaims that 1/3 of its citizens believe the Flintstones to be a documentary. This oil capital is fleeing fast to both Calgary for north america … and to the middle east.

  10. Mauraid Says:

    As a 20 year TX resident I chose to homeschool my daughter after the 2nd grade because of the racism and stupidity of the adults running the schools. There are now 1000’s of non-religious homeschoolers who do so because the schools are so bad. Some teachers may be ok, but they are not allowed to function properly because of the system. My child is 21 and in college but I know that if I’d sent her to a Texas school (public or private), regardless of how hard I tried to protect her, there was a great likelihood that she would be pregnant and/or married b y now. She certainly would have been sexually active by 14 as are most Texas schoolkids. She is in Honors College because she knows the real facts of history, biology and how government works. There is a full set of schools within walking distance of my home in the lauded Klein ISD and my advice to Texans is to homeschool. If you have to work there are many homeschool organizations that will help you keep working. If you stumble upon only the religious crazy homeschoolers, go to Yahoo groups Woodlandsareahomeschoolers and secularhomeschooling and ask for direction. We will help you find support.

  11. Joe Brennan Says:

    The good thing that may come of this is the end of the heavy paper textbook and the move to digital delivery. That would greatly reduce all the costs of printing, transporting and storing books; keep the material current and relevant; and let schools pick and choose what they want.

  12. texas annie Says:

    About 10-12 years ago, I began to notice, as an English teacher, that the new textbooks came marked “Texas Edition.” I think that’s the publishers’ way around the ridiculous actions of the SBOE. They can’t sell books full of misinformation in the other 49 states (okay, Mississippi might buy them), so they can’t let Texas’ crazies dictate content. “Texas Edition” may be code for “textbooks for dummies.”

  13. Bob Says:

    @Joe Brennan

    But that’s only damage control – the SBOE can still ruin textbooks for Texas. Better to threaten the bottom line of the textbook publishers that cater to the SBOE’s Soviet-style historical revisionism and threaten the opportunity of white middle-class kids to get into a good college. Embarrassing Perry and the extremist wing of the SBOE will do no good; embarrassment only works against those with a sense of shame. The only thing that will grab their attention is an economic threat.

    The upshot is that Texas kids deserve an education that is both factually accurate and politically neutral. Instead, we still have the damaging legacy of the Gablers. At least the SBOE’s maleficence is made public so the rest of the world knows and can mock us.

  14. Charles Says:

    Jesus said the love of money is the root of all evil. Isn’t it interesting that conscience and shame have been so banished from the discussion that they only things left are threats related to money and budgetary interests. It is a sad state of affairs indeed.

  15. Cytocop Says:

    Concerned TX Grandfather makes points I’d never heard before, so thank you Concerned!

  16. vanrankesrant Says:

    I agree, I am also beginning a boycott at the college level. But WHO publishes, or has agreed to publish textbooks according to the guidelines? Let me know who the publisher is?????

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