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Austin – Textbooks proposed for adoption in Texas are little more than science fiction to promote an activist environmental agenda witnesses told the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) at a hearing in Austin September 6. More than 65 Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) activists showed up to express their opposition to these books. The hearing was followed by a press conference covered my all major media in the State including the Texas State Network.
About 40 Texas CSE members -- wearing "Show Me the Science" buttons -- testified, claiming that in addition to biased views on many issues, at least two textbooks promoted agendas counter to the US Constitution and actually directed students to write to elected officials about these issues and suggested views to express.
After the hearings, Texas CSE held a press conference attended by the local affiliates of ABC, CBS, and NBC. In addition, reporters from the Lone Star Report, The Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press and the Texas State Network covered the event.
An account of the press conference appeared in newspapers and on radio stations across Texas, and was a lead story on Foxnews.com and CNSnews.com. Texas CSE Director Peggy Venable was quoted in most news articles written about the hearing.
The importance of this event goes beyond Texas state boundaries. Texas and California are the largest purchasers of textbooks and consequently textbooks adopted in these states are sold nationwide.
The textbook publishers now need to respond to the criticism and either rewrite, revise or defend their material. The State Board of Education will hold a vote in early November to decide whether or not to approve the books. Then the list of conforming, nonconforming, and rejected textbooks is provided to local school districts for their final purchasing decisions. Venable said, "We will fight this battle in every school district in the state if we need to."
In the meantime, it will be up to Texas CSE activists to keep attention on this issue by continuing to contact SBOE members and other elected officials, write letters to the editors of their local papers and call radio talk shows to see that this issue is not forgotten.
Texas CSE is working to make sure tax dollars are not used to indoctrinate Texas schoolchildren with "junk" science and anti-American messages. Elected officials and the SBOE are well aware of the influence that Texas CSE members have. As Board Member Cynthia Thornton stated, "I believe you (CSE) know what you are doing and I trust you...Thank you for all your work."