20091208

Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall, not good enough for Texas

Tell Texas not to remove Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall from school books

There is an education war going on in Texas that you need to know about and get involved with. The TX State Board of Education is currently preparing to adopt new social studies curriculum standards. These standards have major national implications as Texas is such a major purchaser of textbooks and their state’s required curriculum drives the content of textbooks produced nationwide.

Please read the following and then take action and forward this to as many friends as possible.

The TX State Board of Education has hired 6 "experts" to determine what will be in the books their schools use. Some of these "experts" are arguing that the state’s social studies and history textbooks are giving "too much attention" to some of the most prominent civil rights leaders in US History, namely Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall.

David Barton, one of these "experts," claimed Cesar Chavez "lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others." Another of these "experts" evangelical minister Peter Marshall said, "To have Cesar Chavez listed next to Ben Franklin"--as in the current standards--"is ludicrous." He went on to say Chávez is not a role model who "ought to be held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation."

The same "expert" wants to eliminate Thurgood Marshall, a prominent Civil Rights leader who argued the landmark case that resulted in school desegregation and was the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court justice. He wrote that the late justice is "not a strong enough example" of an important historical figure to be presented to Texas students.

Board members and their appointees have complained about an "over representation of minorities" in the current social studies standards. This is ironic in light of the changing demographics of our country. Sadly, Latino and African-American children have the highest drop-out rates in the country. It’s essential to ensure schools are providing students with role models and historical figures whose experiences reflect their own.

We must be concerned when the contributions of Cesar Chávez, Thurgood Marshall and other individuals who have contributed so much to the landscape of American democracy are cast aside and ridiculed. We should welcome the inclusion of all Americans who have helped to make this nation great.

It is horrific to discover that the TX State Board of Education has allowed these panelists to use our children's social studies curriculum as a platform for their political agendas. Please take action today to stop this travesty from going forward. Send your e-mail to the Chair of the Texas Board of Education Gail Lowe (R).

Take Action Now by clicking here.

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