‘Racist’ Texas textbook discussed by education leaders

Education leaders discuss controversial Mexican American heritage textbook (KXAN Photo/ Todd Bailey)
Education leaders discuss controversial Mexican American heritage textbook (KXAN Photo/ Todd Bailey)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A controversial public school textbook scholars have called “racist” is once again under scrutiny.

Several groups are coming together Monday in Austin to talk about the “Mexican American Heritage” textbook Texas education leaders are thinking of using for classes. Last year, activists pressed The State Board of Education to create the class.

Education leaders discuss controversial Mexican American heritage textbook (KXAN Photo/ Todd Bailey)
Outrage over the controversial Mexican American heritage textbook supposed to enter classrooms in 2017 (KXAN Photo/ Todd Bailey)

However critics, including some scholars, say the textbook made for the class is not accurate. The book describes Mexican-Americans as people who “adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.” It also links Mexican-Americans to undocumented immigrants, saying illegal immigration has “caused a number of economic and security problems” in the U.S. that include “poverty, drugs, crime, non-assimilation, and exploitation”

The author of the textbook has also been questioned. “Frankly, that author is not recognized as someone who is part of the Mexican-American studies scholarship and most individuals engaged in scholarship will not recognize her as an author,” said Douglas Torres-Edwards, coordinator of a Houston TEA-approved Mexican-American studies course.

Right wing Christian activist Cynthia Dunbar is believed to own the company, Momentum Instruction, that produces the textbooks. She was a member of the Texas Board of Education calling the education system “tyrannical” publishing her own book while on the board, “One Nation Under God”

If it’s approved, the new textbook will be used in public schools in 2017. The state is holding a hearing in September to hear your thoughts. You have until Sept. 2 to submit your comments online.

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