Down the Memory Hole?

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Nov. 14 UPDATE: Prof. Erekson’s report has been reposted on the Social Studies Collaborative website. The copyright has been changed to Prof. Erekson, dropping the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board copyright. The THECB’s logo has also been dropped from the report.

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Is the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board trying to “disappear” last week’s report criticizing the State Board of Education‘s politicized revision of public school history standards? The Coordinating Board sent out a press release Wednesday saying that news stories tying the report to it are “erroneous”:

“This report was not requested, reviewed or approved by the THECB or its staff. The faculty collaborative is funded by the THECB, however the agency does not have ownership for the work product derived from the collaborative. Products developed by the collaborative do not reflect opinions, analysis, or conclusions of the agency or its Board.”

The press release also repeats a disclaimer printed in the report indicating that the report’s findings and recommendations “are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the Social Studies Faculty Collaborative or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.”

The report has been removed from the Social Studies Collaborative website, but we have uploaded the report here.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the Coordinating Board (whose members were appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry) had nothing to do with the report that carries the Coordinating Board’s copyright, name and logo and that was issued by a body (the Social Studies Collaborative) that the Coordinating Board established to promote the Coordinating Board’s College and Career Readiness Standards. Got that?

That still leaves this question: does the Coordinating Board dispute the report’s key findings about the State Board of Education’s miserable failure to pass history curriculum standards that truly prepare Texas kids for college? We hope the Coordinating Board will take the report seriously and not just toss it down a memory hole. Of course, we have little doubt that State Board of Education members are hoping for the “memory hole” approach.

3 Responses to “Down the Memory Hole?”

  1. Charles Says:

    Let’s try that again with some editing:

    Can you imagine a fruitcake company doing this? Let’s try it with the fictional Consolidated Fruitcake Company of America.

    “The fruitcakes that come from our bakery were not made, inspected, or approved by the workers of our bakery or its principal supplier (Candied Fruits of America). Our bakery denies original ownership of any and all fruitcakes derived from our facilities. The quality of the fruitcakes derived from our fruitcake collaborative does not reflect the handiwork, quality, or taste-creating ability of any worker or group of workers at our bakery or candied fruit plant. We fervently disavow any and all knowledge of the fruitcake ingredients and fruitcakes that come from our company collaborative. We have no idea where in the heck those fruitcake ingredients and fruitcakes came from or where they are going? Maybe it has something to do with Santa Claus?”

    You people out in Texas have a real problem with your state government, and somebody needs to do something about it. If someone in my state government had issued a statement like that, it would be all over the newspapers and the person who issued the statement would be looking for a new job Monday morning.

  2. abb3w Says:

    Let it instead be hung around their necks like an albatross.

  3. ianereid Says:

    My query to the board brought this response:

    “The report you reference is in process of being reinstated to the website. The report was removed because the author copyrighted the article to the THECB without permission and in conflict with contractual arrangements between the THECB and the Faculty Collaborative that subcontracted for the report.

    The THECB provided written consent (under provisions of a contractual arrangement) for the Faculty Collaborative to subcontract for any work product it deemed appropriate in conduct of its activities. In cases where such written consent is provided, the contract stipulates that work product generated as the result of such consent “will not transfer their copyrights in their own original works to THECB.”

    The report in question was not intended by the author (as evidenced by a disclaimer on page 2 of the report) to speak for the THECB or the Faculty Collaborative. Therefore, the THECB requested the report be temporarily removed from the site so that the copyright could be removed in compliance with the contract and make plain that the report’s analysis and conclusions reflect those of the author alone.

    The report should be re-posted in its entirety shortly.

    Respectfully,

    Dominic M. Chavez ”

    Thanks for keeping us informed on this matter.

    I hope we can all remember that there are real people involved in all of this. People hold opinions, people take action. Real people do these things without shrouding themselves under the initials of an agency.

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