Houston Matters

It’s Final: Texas Rejects Mexican-American Studies Textbook

Posted on · On Friday (Nov. 18, 2016), the Texas State Board of Education unanimously rejected a controversial Mexican-American studies textbook that would have been used in public schools. The book, titled Mexican American Heritage, received a lot of criticism from academics and activists who argued the book was rife with many inaccuracies and stereotypes. We learn more about […]

Houston Matters

Educators and Activists Discuss Banned Books Week

Posted on · This week (Sept. 25 — Oct. 1, 2016) is Banned Books Week, celebrating intellectual freedom and the freedom to read in the United States. In her web series Writing the City, Houston Public Media’s Dacia Clay is highlighting the event all this week with interviews with educators and activists. That included a conversation with James […]

Houston Matters

Inside the Controversy Around Texas’ New Mexican-American Studies Textbook

Posted on · Recently Texas made national headlines for the state’s new Mexican-American Heritage textbook. The book was highly anticipated by some after heated discussions in 2014. However, the response to the published book from the Mexican-American community wasn’t exactly what the Texas Education Agency was hoping for. Tony Diaz, writer and activist with El Librotraficante, told the Houston Chronicle: “Instead […]

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Mexican-American Textbook Controversy and Property Tax Reform: Friday’s Show (June 3, 2016)

Posted on · Recently Texas made national headlines for the states’ new Mexican-American Heritage textbook. The book was much anticipated by some — after heated discussions in 2014. However, the response to the published book from the Mexican-American community wasn’t exactly what the Texas Education Agency was hoping for. Tony Diaz, writer and activist with El Librotraficante, told the Houston Chronicle: “Instead […]

Good, Bad and Ugly

Textbooks, Ebola, and Perry in Court: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Houston News

Posted on · From the Texas State Board of Education approving new social studies textbooks this week, to a brief Ebola scare at a Houston emergency room, to legal wrangling over a technicality in Governor Perry’s criminal case: we discuss The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of this week’s Houston news. This week’s panel of “non-experts” include: […]

Houston Matters

Content of Proposed New State Textbooks Creates Controversy…Again

Posted on · The Texas Board of Education is considering more than 100 proposed social studies, history, geography and government textbooks that publishers have submitted for approval for use in public schools statewide. New textbooks have not been adopted in Texas since 2002. The board won’t take a final vote until November. However, a public hearing the state board held […]

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Social Studies Textbooks and the Hispanic Vote: Houston Matters for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

Posted on · For the first time since 2002, the Texas Board of Education is considering more than 100 proposed social studies, history, geography and government textbooks, which publishers have submitted for approval and use in public schools statewide. While the board won’t take a final vote until November, a public hearing the state board held earlier this […]

Houston Matters

Why Were Ethnic Studies Textbooks Delayed a Year?

Posted on · The Texas Board of Education is delaying the order for Ethnic Studies textbooks by one year. The board voted recently to push back the purchase of state-approved African, Asian, Native and Mexican American studies for Texas high schools to 2017. Board member Thomas Ratliff says the delay was a financial decision. But Tony Diaz, an activist with Librotraficante – which last year […]

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Cultural History and the Bayou City Food and Film Festival: Houston Matters for Friday, May 2, 2014

Posted on · Last month, the Houston school board voted unanimously to support teaching Mexican-American history and culture to more high school students. The resolution means the state’s largest school district wants the Texas Education Agency to include this kind of cultural class in the state’s new graduation plan. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said in a statement that in […]

Houston Matters

Banned Books Week and Creationism in Texas Schools

Posted on · We have a complex relationship, at times, with what books we use, and how we use them, in public education here in Texas.  We have, at times, been at the center of controversy over the language and information presented in Texas classroom textbooks, most notably in the form of occasional challenges to the teaching of […]