Published On: Fri, Nov 21st, 2014

Texas Textbook battle rages on: Moses influenced the Founders, violence in Islam, climate change

The Texas Board of Education, a group whose decisions usually sets the tone for school districts  throughout the United States, heard testimony on Tuesday and voted to wait on a new set of school history and social studies textbooks that many critics take issue with.

Florida World History textbookThe Republican-controlled 15-member body was aked to approve more than 100 books for use by students from elementary to high schools in the second-most populous US state. Once textbooks are approved by Texas, they often are marketed nationally.

“Texas is in a leadership position and at the moment, they are abusing that position,” said Emile Lester, an associate professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, who wrote a critical review of some of the US history textbooks that may be approved.

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. Conservative groups worry that many of the same books promote pro-Islam values while the battle over climate change wording continues.

Pearson Education previously produced a textbook that said, “Scientists disagree about what is causing climate change,” but it has replaced that statement with a more accurate phrase: “Scientists warn that climate change, caused by this warming, will pose challenges to society.” Separately, McGraw-Hill dropped similar language to the original Pearson version and removed the use of material from the Heartland Institute.

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.

“I’ve tried to be a good, patriotic citizen and tried to protect the young people,” said Bruner, who is aligned with a conservative group called Truth in Texas Textbooks.

“Most people have been disturbed by the fact that we give any credit or credence to Moses at all,” said Pat Hardy, a Republican from Weatherford. “I do think it has a place.”

Since September, publishers have had a chance to edit their prosed books — or provide justifications for why they aren’t — in response to previously raised complaints.

David Bradley, a conservative member of the State Board of Education, said there is grass roots support for many of the positions in the text books being faulted by liberal critics.

“At the end of the day, if both sides are unhappy, I think we’ve done the right thing,” he said.

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

Displaying 1 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Texas approves disputed textbooks - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] studies textbooks  with a 9-5 vote, divided along party lines. over the last several months, there has been much debate and disagreement over  topics like climate change, violence in Islam, and the influence of Moses on American democracy. […]

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



The Global Dispatch Facebook page- click here

Movie News Facebook page - click here

Television News Facebook page - click here

Weird News Facebook page - click here