In Texas, average citizens have taken matters into their own hands to counter the adoption of high school and middle school Social Studies textbooks that contain false information or promote an agenda.
“This has never been done by any group in America,” says Donna Garner at Educationviews.org. “Without getting paid a penny, average citizens formed Truth in Texas Textbooks (TTT); and they have completed ‘the largest and most extensive textbook review of social studies textbooks in the US.’”
Led by Lt. Col. (retired) Roy White, the group has spent thousands of hours reading new proposed social studies instructional materials and creating a website detailing the factual errors, omissions of fact, half-truths, and agenda biases.
The 32 textbooks reviewed so far are being considered by the State Board of Education for use in the 2015-2016 school year. A final decision will be made later this month.
Truth in Texas Textbooks says their coalition was formed in October 2013 “for the single purpose of improving the factual accuracy of social studies textbooks for the 5 million children of Texas who will use these textbooks beginning in the 2015’-’16 school year.”
The group consists of more than 100 volunteers from inside and outside of Texas who began training in January.
TTT says they work together in four person teams to minimize individual biases. Team reports are then reviewed by “subject matter experts consisting of former social studies teachers, experienced textbook reviewers, college professors, authors and clergy.”
Publishers reviewed are McGraw Hill, Discovery, Pearson, Houghton Mifflin, Perfection, Worldview, and Cengage.
TTT provides links to textbook reviews for each publisher.
According to the group, “reviewers compiled 469 pages of factual errors, imbalanced presentation of materials, omission of information, opinions disguised as facts and additionally questions found in the teacher’s editions that are considered “agenda building” or “leading questions” to conclusions not supported by facts.”
Two summaries of the 469 page report covering World History, US History, World Geography & Culture, Texas History, US Government, and Economics can be viewed on TTT’s website.
One of the summaries shows that the group reported 574 findings of factual errors, omissions of fact, half-truths, or agenda biases in three World History and Geography resources published by Worldview.
Of three Houghton Mifflin resources reviewed, 66 errors were found.
The Texas State Board of Education is expected to vote “up or down” on the textbooks on November 21st.