Texans Rally Against Proposed Mexican-American Schoolbook

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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM)A ‘Reject The Text’ rally is being held in Austin this morning where dozens of groups are joining together to call for the state to reject a new schoolbook.

The rally comes ahead of a State Board of Education meeting where members will take a close look at the textbook “Mexican American Heritage” – a text presented as a cultural history of Mexican-Americans.

Critics have piled harsh criticisms on early draft copies of the book, meant for high school classes, saying it is full of errors, leaves out facts, and promotes offensive stereotypes.

Lilliana Saldaña, an associate professor of Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said the errors begin as soon as you open the book. “In the first chapter we found at least three to four severe errors — on each page.”

After demands that Mexican-American studies be included in the state curriculum, the Board of Education voted to include textbooks on the subject last year. “Mexican American Heritage” is the only Mexican-American history text being considered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

The publisher, Momentum Instruction, is now saying that early errors have been fixed, and some of the criticism focused on passages taken out of context.

Dr. Jose Herrera, a historian at the University of Texas at El Paso, calls the text “criminally shallow” and in some cases factually ignorant. “And they say, ‘oh yeah, (Mexican General Antonio Lopez de) Santa Anna lead his troops at Goliad.’ Well, he was nowhere near Goliad that was Jose de Urrea, you gotta give him credit for what he did. These are mistakes that on a 4th grade textbook I would fail a kid.”

Textbooks adopted by the TEA become part of statewide-recommended instructional materials, but independent school districts aren’t required to include the books in their curriculum.

The Reject The Text rally is happening at 9:30 a.m. at the William B. Travis Building in Austin. Then at 11 a.m. the State Board of Education will hold their public hearing on “Instructional Materials Submitted in Response to Proclamation 2017.”

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