Ed­u­ca­tion board con­sid­ers new so­cial stud­ies text­book

Houston Chronicle - - CITY | STATE - By An­drea Zelin­ski an­drea.zelin­ski@chron.com

AUSTIN — Less than a year af­ter the Texas State Board of Ed­u­ca­tion re­jected a Mex­i­can Amer­i­can stud­ies text­book that crit­ics ar­gued was rid­dled with racism and er­rors, the board is con­sid­er­ing a new text.

The new one was pitched by Tony Diaz, the di­rec­tor of in­ter­cul­tural ini­tia­tives at Lone Star Col­lege-North Har­ris and ac­tivist who would smug­gle banned Mex­i­can Amer­i­can stud­ies books into Ari­zona.

His book, “The Mex­i­can Amer­i­can Stud­ies Toolkit,” went be­fore the SBOE at its quar­terly meet­ing Wed­nes­day and drew no con­tro­versy.

“I was kind of stunned,” said Ruben Cortez Jr., a Demo­cratic board mem­ber from Browns ville and ad­vo­cate for cre­at­ing a statewide Mex­i­can Amer­i­can stud­ies course, an ef­fort that’s stalled in re­cent years. “I thought some of my Repub­li­can friends were go­ing to be con­cerned.”

Last year, about 100 peo­ple filled the the SBOE’s meet­ing room in Austin, most rail­ing against “Mex­i­can Amer­i­can Her­itage,” a text­book brought by for­mer con­ser­va­tive Repub­li­can board mem­ber Cynthia Dun­bar that crit­ics at­tacked for re­fer­ring to Mex­i­cans as “lazy” and said had about 140 factual er­rors.

Crit­ics, which in­cluded his­tory pro­fes­sors, called the text “of­fen­sive” and said it down­played Mex­i­can-Amer­i­cans’ con­tri­bu­tions to so­ci­ety. The board, which is made up largely of con­ser­va­tive mem­bers, re­jected that book in Novem­ber and asked for new sub­mis­sions.

“The Mex­i­can Amer­i­can Stud­ies Toolkit” is the only Mex­i­can Amer­i­can text­book sub­mis­sion, although the board also re­ceived a pitch for a Jewish stud­ies text­book.

The board is ex­pected to take a fi­nal vote in Novem­ber to add those text­books to the rec­om­mended high school so­cial stud­ies text book list, although teachers can use books not on the list.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.