Critics Have Their Say on School Textbooks. (Nation in Brief)

By Elvin, John | Insight on the News, August 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

Critics Have Their Say on School Textbooks. (Nation in Brief)


Elvin, John, Insight on the News


School districts, publishers and education activists from across the country are paying close attention to the current review of new history textbooks by the state Board of Education in Texas. The review began with public hearings, which are conducted every eight years, influencing purchases for the second-largest state school system in the nation. The huge forthcoming book orders from Texas, with its 4.1 million students, will have a major impact on what books publishers decide to put on the presses. When buying decisions in other big-budget states, notably California and Florida, are added in, future textbook choices are fairly much shaped for the entire nation.

Several conservative groups came before the Texas hearings to testify about books they found to be anti-American, anti-Christian and anticonservative, according to an Associated Press report. Among problems found by the Texas Policy Center with the history texts was placing blame for wiping out the great buffalo herds on fur traders and tourists when, they asserted, American Indians also were very active in decimating the herds for sport. Previously, the Lone Star State rejected a textbook because it claimed that private property rights block government's ability to protect the environment. …

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