Oh, the power of one angry mother!
It’s not like we weren’t warned, by people like the Texas Freedom Network. The last round of “book approvals” by the Texas State Board of Education introduced some stunning inaccuracies into books used in Texas history, geography and economics classrooms. GOP appointees and board members worked hard to make sure even correct history standards could be skewed in actual texts.
One Houston-area mother saw her son’s text for world geography, videoed the thing and put it up on Facebook. Surprisingly, the publisher, McGraw-Hill, backed down, and promised fixes.
Here’s the video, from Rusty Styles:
The good news? This one angry mom got McGraw-Hill to take the ethical path, and promise to fix the caption. On Facebook again, McGraw-Hill said:
This week, we became aware of a concern regarding a caption reference to slavery on a map in one of our world geography programs. This program addresses slavery in the world in several lessons and meets the learning objectives of the course. However, we conducted a close review of the content and agree that our language in that caption did not adequately convey that Africans were both forced into migration and to labor against their will as slaves.
We believe we can do better. To communicate these facts more clearly, we will update this caption to describe the arrival of African slaves in the U.S. as a forced migration and emphasize that their work was done as slave labor. These changes will be reflected in the digital version of the program immediately and will be included in the program’s next print run.
McGraw-Hill Education is committed to developing the highest quality educational materials and upholding the academic integrity of our products. We value the insight the public brings to discussions of our content.
World geography was usually taught in the 9th grade in Texas; recent changes in requirements pushed world geography to a lesser status; many Texas kids get to pick between world geography and world history (both used to be required).
Students are old enough to need to know the truth on these issues. That is not to say that history books should stretch or chop the truth at any time, but it is to note that students in early high school are developing an ethical outlook on their lives. Adults, including book publishers, need to lead exemplary lives.
What other errors didn’t get the public scrutiny they deserved a few years ago?
Any other angry moms out there?
- Portal to Texas Freedom Network’s (TFN) extensive reports on problems with texts adopted under the 2010 Social Studies standards (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS); there are lots of other problems around slavery in the various texts
- Historians warned us, back in 2010, that this was a problem
- Incidentally, the gone-but-not-forgotten CSCOPE collaborative by Texas teachers helped to fight this kind of history revisionism with accurate history sources and lesson plans. That’s why the Texas right wing attacked CSCOPE.
I’ll bet you say that to all the former Reagan Education Department officials you meet, yes?
I’m only telling the history. Check the votes of the Texas State Board of Education on approving this text. Look at the campaign materials of the GOP board members. Look at the actions of the Texas governor (GOP) in designating the chairman of SBOE.
In short, you could benefit from studying the history yourself. Have you?
African slavery is not the central point of history in Texas? Then why the frantic, massive campaign to cover it up?
Thanks for dropping by, toofunny.
Ananda Lima, I’m looking for the good news here. These errors were exposed in the standards, and then again in the book adoption process. There was no great public outcry.
Then one mother with a sense of history and a love for what her son SHOULD learn, posts a video on Facebook, and suddenly the monolithic publisher sees the light.
Let’s be clear: This woman did not get her way by giving millions of dollars to the campaigns of Texas legislators.
Power to the mothers. Power to the people!
Thanks for dropping by.
Oh Please! This is not about an angry mom! It is about a despicable act of rewriting history and institutional racism reaching schools. What a silly way to write about this!
What a liar you are. The no part of this story is that has anything to do with Texas GOP. It is purely a publishing issue. What are you suggesting, the MacGraw Hill is a hot bed of Republicans? Are you suggesting that are this “nefarious influence” of those dread Republicans in all their positions of power can be undone by such a preposterous person? If you got off you hobbyhorse for a second you might see how irrational your bit of agitprop is, and what a fool you are making of yourself.
The fact that the decent people of this country do not agree with your repulsive left wing opinions, particular your bizarre obsession with slavery and the black race, does not mean that they are “rewriting history”. In fact, you are projecting on the GOP what the Left has been up to for generations.
You are hardly above the intellectual level of that buffoon on that video (and the fact that we turn to such idiots as the both of you to tell us what to teach shows just how low we have fallen).
Believe it or not, African slavery is hardly the central point of the history or continued of Texas or the USA. The achievements of both far outweigh this. Leftist shill that you are, you just promote this to undermine the nation, and to give your self a false sense of moral superiority. You do this to avoid the uncomfortable truth that in reality you are a cipher, and not up to the great legacy you inherit.
How pathetic and feeble little ankle-biter you are.