May 20th, 2010
05:05 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: Texas textbook vote

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Editor's Note: Watch Gary Tuchman's full report tonight on AC360° at 10pm eastern

I'm sitting in a hearing room right now in the Texas state capital of Austin, watching 15 adults wrangle with their ideas of how Texas children should be taught history.

The Texas Board of Education will vote tonight on amendments they want added (and taken away) from the history and social studies curriculum of the state's nearly five million students.

Much of what will be changed is the result of the work of religious conservatives on the board. They say they are putting a "more accurate" history in their students' textbooks. Liberal members of the board say what is being done is changing history by adding opinion. Inside this hearing room, not surprisingly, it is getting heated.

We'll have the story tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Education • Gary Tuchman
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. JBEE

    After watching the kids and race feature, the textbooks should make more of an effort to include the accomplishments of Black, Latino Asians and females.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  2. Chance Gearheart

    Nothing like some good o' Orwellian Revisionist History to make Texas' educational system even more of a joke. Scary stuff.

    May 21, 2010 at 7:27 am |
  3. Popebombast

    Texas continues to lead the nation in its steady march backward. They refuse to listen to those knowledgeable in their fields and vote on "the truth." This is so ridiculous that it is beneath satire.

    May 21, 2010 at 6:21 am |
  4. Ron in NY

    Texas should seriously consider seceding from the Union. If they choose not to secede, they should be pushed – along with their dimwitted and archaic board of education into the Gulf of Mexico. Let them float away on that oil slick. And don't let the door hit'cha where the Good Lord split'cha.

    Boy, if ever there was an argument in favor of separation of church and state!

    May 21, 2010 at 3:05 am |
  5. kmac

    Why are politicians deciding what should be taught in history?

    America is going so backwards I hate to watch it. Plus what with that guy talking about Islam being death and demonic. What does that have to do with history and why did no one else stand up to that bigot.

    We are already the laughing stock of the world. Now we are going to teach children what democrats and republicans see fit for them where is the sanity in that?


    May 20, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  6. Gordon Miller

    Before graduating from a Texas high school in 1963, I wrote a term paper quoting some of the then-latest scientific findings concerning evolution and the mathematical probability there is life elsewhere in space.

    I received an A-plus grade for the paper, but my science teacher was fired for encouraging non-Biblical thinking.,

    Science has come a long way since 1963 but apparently the Bible extremists still are limiting what facts of life Texas kids can be taught.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  7. Nina

    Adding to the issue/debate is much of historical fact is really subjectivity told by the victor. However, CNN got it wrong saying the lady on the education board was wrong to say the Civil War wasn't about states rights. My Black college history prof taught us that. Slavery became the focal point of the issue, yes, as an economic institution, but the war wasn't fought over the morality of slavery. After all, there was slavery in the North too.

    May 20, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
  8. Brandon

    Trust me, as a Texan and graduate of the public system, we have much more fundamental problems than whats going into textbooks. However, if you are going to change be broad and engaging, instead of narrow and judgmental.

    May 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  9. Prerna Gupta

    History should be taught correctly and we should not hide the truth. If this happens, students will be ignorant and not know the truth. Kids today are unaware about history and the importance it has..

    Prerna Gupta
    Teacher in NJ

    May 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  10. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio


    Textbooks should be filled with facts. No one, not the conservatives or the liberals, has the right to slant the facts in any way for any reason.

    Now if we can only get them to agree on what the facts are.

    I look forward to your report!

    May 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  11. Martina

    People sure are getting pushy about their views. Now they want their views in the textbook. Lets not just change what they want changed lets change everything and tell our kids that this great nation was built on the backs of slave labor (black and white slaves) and their blood. Oh and be sure to tell them that the White House was built by slaves. I do not recall any of that in our American History books.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  12. Linda

    Don't parents realize that if they want their children to be admitted to the college of their choice, to lead prosperous lives and not have to live on the dole or eat out of dumpsters once parents are dead...then they MUST see to it that their children are better educated than all the other college applicants? Teach religion at home. You'll never be totally happy with what the school system teaches them anyway. I'm surprised people would even entertain their notion of allowing "the state" to speak of religion to their child out of their presence.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  13. Kara

    Good, can't wait to hear what happened! I have a feeling it won't be the intelligent outcome I hope for.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |

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