There has been a spate of news about Texas textbooks within the past few weeks: news articles, television reporting, radio commentaries – in every state in the union, I believe.
This is a BIG issue.
As a giant in the textbook market, Texas and its education officials have left fingerprints on the classroom readers used far beyond the Red River.
The long reach of the State Board of Education has attracted outsized national attention for years as board members engaged in pitched battles over textbook content from evolution to the Founding Fathers. [Kate Alexander, American Statesman Staff]
Everyone’s heard the advertisement that claims, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” While that’s questionable, one thing that is not questionable is that what happens in the Texas education battle will not just stay in Texas.
What your kids learn about historical figures like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein most likely depends on what happens in Texas in the next two days.
Texas is in the process of adopting its social studies standards, which only happens every ten years. The standards cover U.S. Government, American History, World History, and more, and they affect how students in grades K – 12 see America, its founding principles, and its heroes for the next decade.
More than that, because Texas is one of the largest consumers of textbooks in the nation, publishers use these curriculum standards for textbooks that are distributed in nearly every state in the union. Thus, what happens in Texas will impact the nation.
Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were removed from World History, yet Mary Kay and Wallace Amos (of Famous Amos Cookies) were added, it appears, for more “diversity.” That’s unbelievable. Edison is the greatest inventor in American history with over 1,000 patents; oh, and by the way, that Einstein guy was pretty successful too! [Kerry Shackelford, Fox News]