The Texas Board of Education couldn’t muster the votes late Tuesday to grant preliminary approval for new history and social studies textbooks for classrooms across the nation’s second-largest state, failing to act amid stinging criticism of the proposed books from both the right and left.
Academics and some liberal-leaning activists have complained for months that many of the books up for adoption overstate the influence of religion on early American democracy, including exaggerating biblical figure Moses’ importance to the founding fathers. But conservative groups worry that many of the same books promote pro-Islam values.
The Republican-controlled board tried to pass nearly all of the 100 books and lesson software it was considering, but that failed 5-4 with four abstentions. One member wasn’t present.
“The abstentions have it,” joked Thomas Ratliff, a Mount Pleasant Republican.
That sets up a potentially tense final vote Friday, when the board will have to approve the books or miss the deadline to get them to the state’s 5 million-plus public school students by September 2015. Texas is such a vast textbook market that much of what is produced here can end up influencing materials used in other states.
MerryLynn Gerstenschlager, vice president of the influential conservative group Texas Eagle Forum, said books should describe the “forced wealth distribution” imposed by the United Nations via misleading propaganda about climate change. Retired school teacher Anthony Bruner warned that they would indoctrinate students with communist tenants.
Posted by Libergirl