State Board of Education Faction Still Looking for Textbook Trouble

The far-right faction on the State Board of Education is now on the warpath against a new bogeyman. This time the claim is that textbooks on world history have been biased against Christianity and in favor of Islam.

Board member Don McLeroy, Republican of College Station, is among the leaders of this group. Despite losing his bid for re-election in his party primary in March, McLeroy is still spoiling for a fight as a lame-duck member of the Board-even though he evidently cannot point to any textbooks in current use in Texas that exemplify the perceived bias.

The man who defeated him, Republican Thomas Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, says (according to a report by Terry Stutz of the Dallas Morning News) that there’s another problem with McLeroy’s initiative. The legislature in 1995 chose not to give the State Board authority to dictate textbook content, Ratliff notes, only the power to determine whether textbooks cover the curriculum, contain factual errors, or meet physical specifications.

These problems don’t faze McLeroy and his allies, though, so we’ll be reporting to you next week as the State Board at its September 22-24 meeting debates a resolution denouncing “gross pro-Islamic, anti-Christian distortions in social studies texts.”