textbooks and the texas board of education
The curriculum and textbooks a student learns from are essential to a solid foundation in the quality of their education. Education is the fundamental building block for a student to have a successful future and in today's society some of the best jobs require a bare minimum of a college degree. It is then the duty of parents and the education system to provide the best possible education to students to prepare them for college and for their future jobs. The Texas education system is now the laughing stock of the nation due to the actions of the Texas State Board of Education whom has failed students by not providing the best information possible and allowing politicians with personal agendas to write the curriculum and censure textbooks that present an extreme bias far from the truth.
It is said that “history is written by the victors” (Winston Churchill) or rather “History is a set of lies agreed upon.” (Napoleon Bonaparte). Unfortunately, today in the state of Texas both statements appear to be true. The study of history is intended to help one piece together the constant evolution of past events, religions, philosophies, politics, societies, and economics. By cutting out portions of historical information students have missing pieces in the puzzle of history and this limits many student’s potential of fully understanding the complete picture. As a result this cultivates ignorance in our complex multicultural society. There have been many historical figures that were very good at limiting information and presenting a particular ideology, this is also known as propaganda.
The Texas State Board of Education consists of 15 elected officials from all across Texas. One of the most important duties of the Texas State Board of Education is to create a standardized list for public school curriculum by voting on what should and should not be taught and how the information is presented in textbooks. Some of the hot topic issues that the board debates on is evolution, separation of church and state, climate change, sex education, slavery, civil rights history, the contributions of minorities in Texas and the nation's history. These debates directly mold the subjects of Social Studies, History, Economics and Science.
Texas has an enormous impact on the textbook market due to the number of textbooks bought from publishers. Spike Gillespie sums up the issue between the state and publishers. "Texas is the second-largest textbook buyer in the country, trailing only California. Because Texas and California are such lucrative markets, textbook manufacturers tend to tailor their products to the requirements of these two states, making any changes they may require." (Gillespie, Spike. "The Battle over Books in Texas." N.p., n.d. Web). Publishers in turn will almost print what ever is on the standard set by the Texas board of education. Publishing companies take the path of least resistance to cut cost and make more profit and in doing so the publishing companies do not print too many other standards of textbooks due to the cost of printing more textbooks. This impacts the rest of the United States public schools because the textbooks that are made for Texas are purchased by other states and therefore are used all over the nation. The Texas State Board of Education wields an enormous amount of power and one would think that the board would want to put forth the best information possible for students to learn. Sadly it has been proven that political ideology has infested the textbooks of the United States.
One example of a subject that has been impacted by the boards decision making is social studies. A far right ideology has taken over and has dumb down how Social Studies is being taught and learned. Some of the worst and blatantly bias changes that have been implemented is the adoption of a new curriculum standard for high school American government that suggests separation of...
References: "Texas Freedom Network." : State Board of Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. .
"Texas Textbooks: What Happened, What It Means, and What We Can Do about It." PFAW. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. .
"Anna Greenberg, Mellissa Egelsky, Jessica Keating, Culture wars in the classroom: Texas voters call for a cease fire. 20. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, July, 13, 20120. 1-20. Print.Greenbergresearch .com "
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