Editorials

Error-filled textbook shelved. Now what?

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

State Board of Education member Ruben Cortez speaks at a press conference Sept. 6 in Brownsville. Cortez publicly rejected a textbook under consideration by the state board, alleging it contained erroneous information, omissions, negative stereotypes and racial assertions against Mexican-American culture.
State Board of Education member Ruben Cortez speaks at a press conference Sept. 6 in Brownsville. Cortez publicly rejected a textbook under consideration by the state board, alleging it contained erroneous information, omissions, negative stereotypes and racial assertions against Mexican-American culture. AP

After months of public calls for shelving the controversial Mexican American Heritage textbook, the State Board of Education listened and preliminarily rejected the questionable book’s adoption.

The book upset many Hispanic scholars, activists and government officials. It made negative generalizations and stated facts incorrectly.

The activists created a coalition just to make sure this “textbook that promotes offensive cultural stereotypes” didn’t make its way into schools.

Although the authors did correct most, if not all, of the factual errors, the negative impression remained.

Luckily, the board voted against the book 14-0 in a preliminary vote Wednesday. The final vote is Friday.

The textbook was the only submission responding to a call for high-school-level Mexican-American studies material, which is unfortunate.

Nobody wants a wrong textbook, but having no education material doesn’t work either.

The Texas Tribune reported University of Texas at Austin history professor Emilio Zamora is working on a textbook.

Maybe we will see an accurate Mexican-American studies textbook in the near future.

  Comments