Thursday, October 23, 2014

Biased Ideas Presented As Fact In Texas Curriculum Standards

Rebecca Klein, HuffPost
Updated: 10/22/2014 5:59 pm EDT

Proposed Texas social studies textbooks may be flawed, but state standards are likely to blame for the imperfections.

In September, nonprofit organization the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund commissioned a group of history scholars to evaluate proposed social studies textbooks from publishing giants such as Pearson Education and McGraw-Hill Education. The scholars found that several of the textbooks were rife with religious and conservative biases that they said distort history. At the time, the TFN noted that while it was important that inaccuracies be corrected, the root of the problem likely lay with the state's social studies standards, to which the textbooks are expected to cater.

"In all fairness, it's clear that the publishers struggled with these flawed standards and still managed to do a good job in some areas," said Kathy Miller, president of TFN Education Fund, in a September press release. "On the other hand, a number of textbook passages essentially reflect the ideological beliefs of politicians on the state board rather than sound scholarship and factual history."

This week, the TFN Education Fund announced a bit of good news -- that publishers made a number of corrections to the proposed books. While the group said the textbooks, which the Texas State Board of Education will vote whether to adopt in November, were improved, Miller noted, "There remain in the textbooks a number of biases and inaccuracies that should be corrected."

(More here.)

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