Texas Textbook Vote Delayed Pending Corrections
Texas State Board of Education members postponed action this week on nearly 100 proposed history, government and other social studies textbooks and e-books after learning numerous publishers are still making corrections to their books that address issues like global warming and the Islamic religion.
Most books are anticipated to gain approval during the final vote this Friday, with a possibility of one or two books being rejected unless their publishers make acceptable changes.
Groups from both sides of the political spectrum have complained about the materials, but publishers have already addressed most of the issues through proposed changes or defending what is written in their books.
Science education groups and the Texas Freedom Network were successful in getting four major publishers to improve their global warming coverage.
In addition, publishers have corrected other textbook passages that reinforced negative stereotypes about Muslims. The TFN continues to fight against what they call an exaggeration of the religious influences in the founding of the U.S. in the proposed history books.
Texas school districts are free to choose any books they would like to use. Most opt to stay with the list adopted by the State Board of Education because it tracks the state’s curriculum standards and aligns with achievement tests.
If approved, the new books will replace 12-year-old materials and will be used by students beginning fall of 2015.
Texas is one of the largest textbook buyers in the U.S.; therefore the state has a strong influence on the textbooks and e-books other states choose to use in their classrooms. I think waiting to see the changes before making a final decision and approving the new materials is a smart move by the State Board of Education for both the students in the state and our country.