Editorials

No academics to fact-check textbooks

The Start Board of Education rejected the proposal to have a panel of experts check textbooks for errors Wednesday.
The Start Board of Education rejected the proposal to have a panel of experts check textbooks for errors Wednesday. AP

After a ninth-grade textbook referred to African slaves as “workers,” the State Board of Education’s vice chairman, Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, wanted to create a panel of experts to review textbooks for errors.

The board unsurprisingly rejected the proposal on Wednesday, 7-8.

Saying it would cast a bad light on the textbook adoption process, the board decided to not add another level of bureaucracy to the process.

“I don’t want to send a message that the current system or the current committee, that, well, they’re not that important,” board member Geraldine Miller of Dallas said in The Texas Tribune.

Some of the members also didn’t want to deal with “philosophical differences” an academic might have.

Their points are valid, and maybe the panel would have been overkill. But if they had members of academia on their panel, with their “philosophical differences,” calling slaves “workers” would never have made it into print.

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