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Lawmaker wants to keep Texas textbooks out of CA

May 24, 2010 5:58:22 PM PDT
There is an effort underway to keep school books for children in Texas out of the hands of children in California.

Educators in Texas have approved controversial additions and omissions to textbooks and because that state buys so many of them, Texas tends to dictate what gets printed.

After the Texas School Board adopted landmark changes to textbooks last week, one California lawmaker is pushing his proposal to make sure those changes do not end up here.

"What I'm afraid of is that the Texas curriculum will, in fact, be the standard for a lot of social science/history textbooks, and that we end up having to then adopt that particular textbook," State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said.

The new Texas version will give more prominence to Christian and conservative information by encouraging students to question the separation of church and state doctrine and replacing the word "capitalism" with "free market." The new books will also include the conservative resurgence of the 80s and 90s, such as the influence of the Moral Majority, but not liberal or minority rights groups.

Yee says Texas also approved downplaying Latino history and civil rights programs.

"It is these kinds of white-washing that goes on in the Texas curriculum that is of tremendous concern to me," he said.

Texas is such a large textbook buyer that publishers may not want to print a different edition for other states. It does not help that California cannot update its textbook requirements for publishers because of budget problems.

Randy Thomasson from the conservative group SaveCalifornia.com thinks textbooks have been too liberal.

"Texas is really setting the standard of what is more accurate than what used to be," Thomasson said.

Some Christian parents just want their kids' textbooks to be accurate.

"I think it's really sad that they would try to alter and leave part of our history out of the books," Monica Collard said.

"Our textbooks have been rewritten so many times; it really doesn't portray authentic history," David DelPadre said.

The state Senate is expected to vote later this week on Yee's bill, which would direct the Caifornia Board of Education to keep an eye out for textbooks reflecting the Texas changes and to report them to the Legislature.


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