By: Krystle Crossman
For students in public schools in Texas, history may be a little convoluted. A study of the textbooks that they were using in their curriculum had a lot of religious and political biases according to the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund. The TFN did a sampling of the textbooks that came from publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Pearson to see what they were putting in these textbooks and where there were opportunities for change.
One of the things that TFN did note was that these biases were not the fault of the publishers since they were just creating books according to the state standards that are set out by the state of Texas. Kathy Miller, the president of TFN, stated that the publishers were having a difficult time creating these books for the students with the standards that were in place but did a pretty good job of maintaining the facts as they should have. Unfortunately some of these facts were skewed and were more geared towards the beliefs of the politicians in Texas as opposed to being actual facts. Even though the publishers did make a lot of corrections to the biases and inaccuracies Miller says they still have a long way to go. The books that are supposed to be released in November are still pending approval.
Here are some of the biases that are found in these books:
1. Capitalism – The books for Texas students really push that capitalism is the most important out of any of the other structures. They outline the greatest parts of the free enterprise system but not the other systems. They also tell the students to compare and contrast the different structures but put emphasis on capitalism.
2. Church and State – The books ask students to compare and contrast church and state and ask them to question why they should be separated. Mavis Knight, a school board member, states that this is implying that the doctrine for the separation does not exist.
3. Slavery and segregation – The chapters on this era are very thin if they are even there at all. They found that some of the books skipped these topics altogether. The Texas NAACP filed a complaint stating that they are downplaying the violence of the KKK.