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.