SBOE Sends a Message: Texas Doesn’t Need Any Stinkin’ Qualifications for Our Textbook Reviewers!

Today the State Board of Education, yet again, made Texas look like an education backwater. Just two days ago the board refused to add special fact-check panels made up of university academics to the process for adopting textbooks in Texas. Today they refused to require that a majority of citizen textbook reviewers have even basic qualifications — like a college degree or teacher certification. We just sent out the following press release:


Two Days after Rejecting Fact-Check Panels for University Academics, Board Votes Down Proposal to Set Standards for Citizen Reviewers

State Board of Education today rejected a new proposal to set specific criteria for determining whether individuals are qualified to review textbooks submitted for adoption in Texas. Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller criticized the 8-6 vote against the proposal as yet another example of the board’s hostility to expertise and competence.

 “This board seems determined that textbook adoptions in Texas remain a three-ring circus,” Miller said. “It’s clear that board members are more interested in protecting their ability to appoint unqualified political activists to these panels than in ensuring that our kids’ textbooks are accurate.”

Just two days ago, the board on an 8-7 vote rejected a proposal to set up special panels made up of college and university academics to review textbooks for factual accuracy. Board members argued that existing panels of citizen reviewers were sufficient.

Today SBOE member Erika Beltran, D-Dallas, proposed that the board require that at least a majority of those citizen reviewers have education certification and teaching experience in three of the previous 10 years in a relevant field or hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.

But even those qualifications were too much for opponents, who argued that they smacked of elitism and would open the door to “pointy-headed liberals from the University of Texas” determining whether textbook content is accurate. Opponents also argued that the proposal would make it harder for them to appoint individual reviewers they consider qualified even if those individuals don’t have teaching experience or a degree in a relevant field.

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  • ELA/R teacher says:

    Also, when they were getting updated on the ELAR/SLAR TEKS review. Tincy Miller and Ken Mercer were all up in arms about the initial proposed changes. Tincy even said, “…and here come all the ELAR teachers” wanting to change things that were good to begin with. I am disgusted with the process. I think that you should have to have a background in education to even sit on the SBOE. Thank you to Pat Hardy for standing up for us in the field who actually have to teach the standards that the board adopts. She gets it because she lives it everyday!

  • betty says:

    I live in Texas but am not from here; moved here from Ca. All I can say is y’all sure have a lot of work to do to join humanity…

  • WFW says:

    Religious ignorance reigns in deference to truth, science and common sense. It is a human tragedy.

  • Jim says:

    The conservative Christians here in Texas are the cousins of the fundamentalist Muslims. They share the same anti-intellectual, anti-Science, violent worldview.

    They don’t even know what they don’t know. The “liberal” coasts pay the bills and keep the Science going, while they coast along in ignorance and dependence.

  • Beverly Margolis says:

    My granddaughter is in her freshman at UTA (Austin). I did not know that means that she is a pointy head liberal.
    I know that I am a pointy headed liberal, hell, I’m a downright Socialist.
    I’d much be a democratic socialist and bring back the good old days when this country had a heart.
    What we have now is a bunch of funny-mental Xians who want to sneak their idiotic beliefs into the schools.
    One of my neighbors is a staunch funny-mentalist. He has told me time and again that I’m going to hell because I have not accepted you know who.
    Michel Bachmann is on her annual convert Jews campaign. I’m having my fun with her. I’ve nothing against Christianity, I just don’t like it when someone messes with me and tells me that I’m going to a place that doesn’t exist.
    Oh well, if that is what they want to believe who am I to tell them that they’re wrong? I’ll let them find out that for themselves.
    Thanksgiving is almost here. We’re going to have barbecue instead of turkey.
    I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, we really have a lot to be thankful for. Don’t listen to the “media,” Look around you, we have paved roads, we can drink our water without worrying about water-born diseases, most of us have cars, etc. etc.
    We are living much better than people just 200 years. Despite the bad news that the “media” feeds us on a daily basis, we’ve have it better than folks in the middle east, Africa, South and Central America.
    Canadians and the United States are the wealthiest countries in the world. Have a great holiday season.

  • Rhonda says:

    I’m not surprised, as these ignorant right wing asses don’t want Texas children truly educated. They want their ignorant racist ideas to be the ONLY thing kids in this state learn. No wonder Texas is not seen as having any inegligence running the state.

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