Archive for the ‘Educational Research Analysts’ Category

Science Back in the Crosshairs in Texas?

November 23, 2011

Just when it looked like science education might be safe for a while in Texas public schools, the State Board of Education could soon be dragging the state back into the textbook wars over evolution.

At last week’s meeting in Austin, state board members began mapping out the schedule for adopting textbooks and curriculum standards over the next decade. Although they won’t make any final decisions until early next year, board members considered a schedule that would have them adopting new science textbooks in 2013. Those new textbooks would go into Texas classrooms in fall of 2014, replacing others that have been in use since 2004.

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Censorship Group Targets Science Materials

June 3, 2011

It’s increasingly clear that the Texas State Board of Education this summer will be ground zero — once again — in the religious right’s war on science. The newest indication of the pending battle comes from the website of Educational Research Analysts, one of the nation’s oldest textbook censorship organizations. The website shows that the East Texas-based group will target the scheduled adoption of science instructional materials by the Texas state board in July.

The religious-right outfit in Longview was founded by the late Mel and Norma Gabler, who began pressuring publishers to censor their textbooks in the 1960s. The Gablers later turned their operation over to Neal Frey, who continues to run the shop. Here’s what the group’s website says about the upcoming science adoption:

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Group: ‘Textbook Approval Is Power’

October 7, 2010

We told you yesterday how the old warhorse of the right-wing censorship movement in Texas, Educational Research Analysts, works to intimidate publishers and promote a divisive ideological agenda in public school textbooks. As we reported, the group’s July newsletter called for the Texas State Board of Education to reject textbooks that are allegedly anti-Christian and pro-Muslim (even though claims of such bias are not supported by facts).

Another passage from that same newsletter makes the religious right’s obsession with political power and pushing an ideological agenda rather than educating kids even clearer:

“Many wrongly think Texas’ SBOE can reject only those textbooks that meet less than 50% of its course content standards, flunk certain manufacturing guidelines, or contain factual errors. But it can also dump those that clearly conflict with basic democratic values. For the first time ever the SBOE should invoke that power to warn publishers not to pander to Islam against Christianity … in their new high school World History submissions. Christian conservative mastery of detail in Texas’ textbook approval process is power.” [emphasis added]

This is a stunning declaration by culture warriors who are determined to put their personal political agendas ahead of the education of Texas schoolchildren. Yet it is not a toothless declaration: for nearly two decades, far-right pressure groups and their wealthy supporters have slowly built a powerful faction of culture warriors on the state board. And that faction of political extremists is determined to control what our public schools teach millions of Texas kids, even if it means distorting what the law really says.

Here are just some of the fruits of their dangerous and divisive efforts:

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Behind the Textbook ‘Culture Wars’

October 6, 2010

More than a few people have wondered who really authored the inflammatory anti-Muslim resolution the Texas State Board of Education passed in September. Randy Rives, a failed state board candidate from Odessa, asked the board in July to pass the resolution. Rives has told reporters that he and his wife wrote the resolution and combed through 11-year-old textbooks to find supporting “facts” for it. A TFN analysis shows how the resolution was based on grossly misleading and outright false claims.

In any case, we have been suspicious of Rives’ claim that he authored the resolution, if for no other reason than that the textbooks on which the measure was based haven’t been used in Texas for more than seven years. In fact, the Texas Education Agency didn’t even have those old world history textbooks on file in Austin. Yet Rives claims that he managed to get hold of those textbooks in Odessa.

Well, maybe he did. But we have a much more plausible theory about where that resolution really originated: Educational Research Analysts, the old right-wing warhorse of the textbook “culture wars” in Texas.

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