Texas rewrites history... again.
Take a look at Ms. Roni Dean-Burren’s video, posted to Facebook on October 1st, demonstrating how Africans immigrated to the United States as workers.
To find out just how this happened, we can go back to the days that Don McLeroy, a dentist from Bryan, Texas, and Advocate of Young Earth Creationism (which holds that the Earth and the Universe are approximately 6,000 years old) served on the Texas State Board of Education (TXSBOE), representing District 9. McLeroy was elected by registered Texas voters and performed his duties from 1998 to 2011. From 2007 to 2009, McLeroy was chairman of the TXSBOE, appointed by Governor Rick Perry.
Is this misinformaion exclusive to Texas? Absolutely not...
Alabama Arizona ...and several more, simply visit YouTube and search, "Slavery in Textbooks"
Take a look at how McLeroy’s spent his time on the TXSBOE: YouTube: Don McLeroy
Don't Know Much About History
Don McLeroy, Former Texas Education Board Chair, On The Colbert Report: 'I Don't Think [God] Used Evolution'
The TXSBOE determines the standards to be taught in classrooms across the state; 5.2 million students, for each content area. Texas student demographics, as of 2013-14, can be seen at the Texas Education Agency’s Student Data page – under Pocket Edition Issues, a pdf download.
To be fair, the TXSBOE does have a Review and Adoption Process which is comprised of people selected by the 15 chair board.
From the TEA Review & Adoption Process page:
The public has the opportunity to report errors discovered in adopted instructional materials through the error reporting process. In addition, TEA conducts an audit of all newly adopted instructional materials to confirm that these errors have been corrected. These processes ensure students have the benefit of error-free instructional materials.
This statement sounds like it gives the people a voice. However, when we look at the history book example above, we must consider who determines factual accuracy… and in the case of McGraw-Hill's published materials, the TXSBOE did not believe there were any errors.
How do you know? Just take a look at all of the controversy and sheer numbers of people who testified in person, via email, and written mail. This can be seen in the PBS documentary The Revisionaries, as well as dozens of videos on YouTube: Texas Textbooks. Despite the protests, TXSBOE approved EVERY PAGE.
Is McGraw-Hill just a patsy for the TXSBOE? Absolutely not! The TXSBOE requests bids from publishers. The best way for publishers to win the contract is to create textbooks to match the TXSBOE standards (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS).
Because Texas is the largest textbook purchaser in the United States and publishers cater to the biggest buyers, not only does Texas get what they want from publishers – everyone else gets what Texas wants as well. Publishers, such as McGraw-Hill take the money with a smile and public reaction to their content with a grain of salt.
Why is that, you may ask… let’s look at the amount of money involved in the Texas textbook adoption process, for just a few years…
Texas school districts may decide to go another direction and select textbooks other than (or in addition to) the TXSBOE texts. THE CATCH: Districts must purchase such materials entirely from their own funds.
The Texas Education Agency and the Texas State Board of Education have not made any statements. However, McGraw-Hill has. According to their Facebook post, they really do value public comment - just not as much as money.
McGraw-Hill to rewrite textbook after mom's complaint
According to the Texas General Land Office - George Prescott Bush, Commissioner - there is a way...
So, what happens now? Nothing of any real consequence. The textbooks are out there, and will be for the next 15 years (maybe more).
McGraw-Hill has their money.
Texas has their history by design... and so do our kids.
Rudy Acuña showed us that “Chicana/o Studies would give a greater number of us access to knowledge that would free and enable us to solve the contradictions of American society.” Nolan Cabrera’s research proves this, scientifically… because some people required it - expecting that either no one could or would do the work and the data would disprove Acuña’s codices.
After Arizona banned the only curriculum proven to close the achievement gap for Barrio students, MAS - Ethnic Studies requirements are being implemented around the country. Chicago Public Schools unveiled its Latino Studies curriculum for 8th graders. They love it so much, they copyrighted it so they can sell it. Nevada has introduced a bill that would require Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement. District by district, California has passed Ethnic Studies high school graduation requirements. It seems likely California will be the first state to implement Ethnic Studies state-wide… quite reminiscent of Mendez vs Westminster, making California the first state to desegregate schools. Even Indiana has an Ethnic Studies high school requirement bill that passed their Senate Education Committee and is on its way to the full senate. Really!
It’s not hard to figure out why so many states are delivering effective educational opportunity to their communities, even Wikipedia defines these curriculums as a path to critical thought. When students are exposed to authentic Ethnic Studies programs they are 108% more likely to graduate high school, on time… and despite how many of us feel about standardized state tests, kids who take Ethnic Studies courses improve their test scores by as much as 40%. But wait a minute – what about kids who aren’t Chican@/Latin@, you ask… Yes, they too benefit from these courses, just as much. Ain’t inclusion grand! Thanks, Gus Garcia and Thurgood Marshall.
But hey, if education isn’t your focus then let’s move on to demographics. PEW Research has stated that the nation’s population will look like the Texas’ school-age children population much sooner than even we anticipated. And guess what? About 50,000 of these kids turn 18 each day. So what does this mean to our joined economies? Yes, we are switching to money here. If the nation’s largest demographic group is also the group that lags behind all other cultural/ethnic groups in high schools graduations (46%), who will work those high-tech jobs that pay into our social security funds, taxes for more schools and roads? That’s a rhetorical question…
So, let’s go back to Texas where our school-age student population is 51% Chican@/Latin@. Why aren’t we implementing Mexican American Studies? Ok, ok… we know that the Tea Party school boards, TEA, and Texas Legislation aren’t terribly interested in Ethnic anything. And despite the opposition, Librotraficantes continue to show up at the State School Board meetings. We went in hoping for a solid implementation of MAS, and left with a text book proclamation for 2016, which was quickly pushed to 2017 – because the state simply doesn’t have funds to provide quality materials and resources to our students. Elected member, Donna Bahorich of Houston approached me after the shady, backroom deals were brought to light and explained that the districts really cannot afford to purchase additional text books. I asked her to please visit the Barrio communities and explain to the mothers that there just isn’t funding for “those kids” to receive a life-saving education… She hasn’t done it yet, but I’m hopeful.
Yes, Rudy, that rock just keeps getting heavier.
Earlier today, El Paso attorney Donald L. Williams shared his: "AN OPINION AGAINST THE NAMING OF A 'HISPANIC' CULTURE CENTER"
His words are eerily similar to Mr. Huppenthal's of Arizona. His use of "La Raza" eludes to just how quickly the once oppressed now wear the clothes of the oppressor.
Thank you for sharing your opinion against El Paso’s Mexican American Cultural Institute (MACI). It is not every day that we see such blatant disrespect for a group of people and their contributions to a global community. Your objectionable opinions are, at best, misguided, and, at worst, outdated.
Today, the Chican@/Latin@ demographic graduates a mere 46% of our students – lagging behind all other cultural and ethnic groups. Clearly, this does not constitute a faction of people having the most power by virtue of its larger representation or electoral state. It is highly problematic that you claim Mexican Americans in this region are the majority while also stating that majorities control the political, social, economic, and educational systems. El Paso lags in Texas high school graduation rates; Texas is #50 in the nation for high school completion. El Paso also lags Texas in postsecondary graduation rates.
Your comparison of MACI to a “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” Cultural Center is absurd. If you mean to object to a Cultural Center based on exclusivity, it stands to reason that you also believe The El Paso Holocaust Museum & Study Center is only for Jewish people.
To name an historical center “El Paso del Norte” is to exemplify the colonization of this region, pointing out that perhaps you believe the masses of people that live here today are not descendants of and belonging to the original indigenous tribes of the Americas. It is widely known that indigenous groups not recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs are “not real.” Thankfully, we as a people have moved beyond this type of miseducation and mindsets of one-drop rules.
You point out your 63 years of Black History Week/Month and 50 years of Bloody Sunday observations, however, you miss the point as to why we observe such events. If we do not make it a point to share these experiences, and those of our predecessors, how many public school children would know about them? The lack of historically responsive education is prevalent in many black and brown communities, which is exactly the purpose of Cultural Institutes – the sharing of knowledge and experiences in a welcoming educational environment.
Study Centers, Cultural Institutes, and Museums are educational environments welcoming to all cultural and ethnic groups. In order to achieve knowledge-based economies, we must support the building of more museums, more study centers, and yes, the Mexican American Cultural Institute of El Paso.
georgina cecilia pérez
You can read Mr. Williams' letter below.
The Corky Branch is scheduled to open on February 28, 2015. When the announcement was made to name the latest edition to Denver public libraries after Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, many were none too happy. Some claimed objection stating that Gonzales had “terrorized” their community, threatened police and created disorder. Denver City Council voted 10-2, in support of naming the library after Gonzales despite Councilwoman Faatz’ insults, calling Corky a “terrorist” and a “bully” – because, you know… civil rights, political representation and equitable, effective education isn’t for everybody.
Nevertheless, Denver’s Library Association voted unanimously to name it the “Corky Branch” …and while this may seem innocuous to some, when one of the four horsemen in the Chicano Movement ~ a youth leader, political activist and civil rights advocate who created a spirit of Chican@ unity ~ has a library named after him it’s big effing deal to the Chican@/Latin@ community.
The power of books in the community is immeasurable. Studies have proven that the higher your literacy level, the less likely you are to end up in police crossfire. Let’s not make light of this… we know that brown and black people are far more likely to be brutalized by law enforcement and represent the largest incarcerated population in the US. Libros are our best defense!
Perhaps the real reason so many were protesting against the Corky Branch is because the library will house 27,000 sq ft of mind altering prose, Chican@ and Black History, computers with free Internet, visual media in several languages, reading rooms, a children’s area, teen rooms, and meeting rooms ~ resources useful in the peoples’ liberation. Perhaps the people will read A Message to Aztlan, where Gonzales wrote about his efforts in organizing for effective education in Barrio communities, protested against police brutality and fought for better housing. The location is also important because the it’s near the Auraria CU campus, a public middle school and two public elementary schools ~ resulting in easier access for all those brown and black kids to educate themselves with books written by people that look like they do… increasing educational achievement, supporting economic development, and making them 108% more likely to graduate high school.
In a time where Ethnic Studies are sweeping the nation and the people are rejoicing, states like Arizona and Texas continue to ban books, outlaw Raza Studies, and guns are being legislated into our classrooms ~ Denver is opening Corky’s Library and yes, it’s Hella Important!
Photo of Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales courtesy of Denver Public Library Digital Collections
"I will stop La Raza!" John Huppenthal
Below, is the portion (15-112) of Arizona House Bill which banned Mexican American Studies in Tucson Unified School District. The full HB 2281 can be found here: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/hb2281s.pdf
AZ HB 2281 : 15-112 Prohibited courses and classes; enforcement
A. A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR CHARTER SCHOOL IN THIS STATE SHALL NOT INCLUDE
IN ITS PROGRAM OF INSTRUCTION ANY COURSES OR CLASSES THAT INCLUDE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. PROMOTE THE OVERTHROW OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
2. PROMOTE RESENTMENT TOWARD A RACE OR CLASS OF PEOPLE.
3. ARE DESIGNED PRIMARILY FOR PUPILS OF A PARTICULAR ETHNIC GROUP.
4. ADVOCATE ETHNIC SOLIDARITY INSTEAD OF THE TREATMENT OF PUPILS AS INDIVIDUALS.
Following, is a summary of the oral arguments presented at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The entire presentation of arguments can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj9Xl_zhdsc
(20:16) Student achievement is irrelevant
(21:00) The state has plenary authority to set the curriculum for its public school students
(21:38) Discriminatory Intent – It would appear that this statute is intended to hold back a given group of the student population
(25:00) Please provide an example of a course that would not violate 1, 2, or 4, but would violate 3
(29:27) English Language Learning classes are in violation?
(30:00) Would a course in Chinese American History be in violation?
(30:38) Discriminatory Animus – Is the state of AZ stating that they do not want minorities to develop any ethnic pride?
(31:30) The inference is that AZ wants to make sure that certain groups don’t emerge
(36:45) The removal from the library of a book based solely upon the educational suitability would be perfectly permissible
(37:05) Curriculum is government speech; the government need not share its podium with another speaker