Saturday, May 22, 2010

Texas Textbooks & California

From a talk which I gave in Odessa, Texas on Feb.25 ,2010. Re; the current textbook conflict. See prior post.

The history of the Chicano /Mexicano people exists, but  the Texas Board of Education has recently debated whether Mex American history to not be very important for the children’s textbooks in Texas. 
This is the way it was described in one report in the Texas Monthly.

“In January, members of the predominantly conservative Texas Board of Education discussed revising the state's social studies curriculum to include highly partisan perspectives on civil rights, the role of government, and American history in general.  Some of the more divisive suggestions range from banning mention of activist and union organizer Cesar Chavez to citing Ronald Reagan's "leadership in restoring national confidence' following Jimmy Carter's presidency."  The Board also discussed instructing students to "describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association."  There were further proposals to reference the United States as a Christian nation with a divine mission in the world.”


I think that decisions on this proposal will be made this spring.
There is an election for the State Board of Education next week.  Eight members are up for election. Have you considered who to vote for? Or against?  Hopefully during the conference you can figure out who is who on these issues. [Update.  The most conservative members were defeated. However, they remain on the Board until next December.
Now, in May, they have passed the new, biased, standards}
Most schools fail to teach an accurate, complete, history of the Chicano- Latino people.  This essentially means that the writers are choosing not to recognize reality. – not to tell the full story.
This  a problem created  in part by the  current State Board of Education.
When  students do not seem themselves as a part of history, their sense of self is limited.
         Marginalization negatively impacts their connections with school and their success at school.
         Dis empowers.
         Accurate history provides a sense of self, of direction, of purpose.
         Lack of history of self, does not commit students to democratic participation in the society.
         An outline of Latino history is in my book Choosing Democracy, and on my web site  The history of the Chicano /Mexicano people exists, but  the Texas Board of Education has recently debated whether Mex American history to not be very important for the children’s textbooks in Texas. 
This is the way it was described in one report.
“In January, members of the predominantly conservative Texas Board of Education discussed revising the state's social studies curriculum to include highly partisan perspectives on civil rights, the role of government, and American history in general.  Some of the more divisive suggestions range from banning mention of activist and union organizer Cesar Chavez to citing Ronald Reagan's "leadership in restoring national confidence' following Jimmy Carter's presidency."  The Board also discussed instructing students to "describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association."  There were further proposals to reference the United States as a Christian nation with a divine mission in the world.”
I think that decisions on this proposal will be made this spring.
There is an election for the State Board of Education next week.  Eight members are up for election. Have you considered who to vote for? Or against?  Hopefully during the conference you can figure out who is who on these issues.
Most schools fail to teach an accurate, complete, history of the Chicano- Latino people.  This essentially means that the writers are choosing not to recognize reality. – not to tell the full story.
This  a problem created  in part by the  current State Board of Education.
When  students do not seem themselves as a part of history, their sense of self is limited.
         Marginalization negatively impacts their connections with school and their success at school.
         Dis empowers.
         Accurate history provides a sense of self, of direction, of purpose.
         Lack of history of self, does not commit students to democratic participation in the society.
         An outline of Latino history is in my book,  Choosing Democracy, and on my web site of the Education and Democracy Institute.  See the link on the left.   along with lesson plans.  I urge you teachers to teach your students the truth- Yes, come inconvenient truths, not just myths.  For example, if a person is going to understand Texas society and the economy, they need to understand immigration. 
BTW. California is stumbling toward a better Framework- in about 2014.  See the Education and Democracy Institute. http://sites.google.com/site/democracyandeducationorg/Home/why-california-students-do-not-know-chicano-latino-history

  

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