Defective Mexican-American Studies Text Denounced at State Board Hearing

Upwards of a hundred witnesses citing chapter and verse came to the State Board of Education September 13 to urge rejection of a proposed Mexican-American studies text rife with outright errors and redolent of bias. Among the witnesses were state legislators, Mexican-American history specialists, parents, and veteran K-12 educators including Texas AFT secretary-treasurer Ray McMurrey. “Students and teachers alike should have confidence in the depth and quality of the resources before them,” McMurrey said, and this text does not pass muster. (See the September 8 Hotline for examples of the textbook’s flaws.)

After a day of blistering testimony that thoroughly cataloged the textbook’s defects, it seemed increasingly unlikely to win approval from the State Board. A bipartisan majority of the 15-member elected State Board appeared poised to declare the text irredeemably botched when they decide its fate in November. All five Democrats on the Board, with Ruben Cortez (D-Brownsville) leading the charge, indicated their opposition, and at least four Republicans also suggested they could not support it. Board vice-chair Thomas Ratliff (R-Mt. Pleasant) labeled the book “dead on arrival.”