Dueling with the SBOE

Several Hispanic and African American legislators, all Democrats, urged the State Board of Education to delay final adoption of the social studies curriculum standards and in the process did some verbal dueling.

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio, chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said he had researched state law and “can’t find where it says if we don’t do this by Friday, all hell is going to break loose.”

Several Republican board members, including Terri Leo of Spring, disagreed. “If we delay a vote, that doesn’t punish the board. That punishes the students,” she said.

A couple of witnesses later, Rep. Sylvester Turner of Houston, responded to Leo, “If the textbook that we give our children is not fair, is not balanced, then we are hurting the children.” Many people are concerned, Turner said, that the board is trying to put “political messages” in textbooks.

Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon of San Antonio warned the board against “hijacking history,” which prompted a response from board member Barbara Cargill of The Woodlands.

“We’re not all going to agree on how history should be taught. We’re not,” Cargill said.

To which McClendon replied, “Put the facts in the book, and the facts will decide how history is taught because the teachers will teach the facts.”

I don’t think any opinions were changed


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