Before final vote, public comments on controversial Mexican-American textbook

Public comment on proposed Mexican-American textbook

AUSTIN - Protesters converged in Downtown Austin Tuesday morning. And they weren't there to protest President-elect Donald Trump. They protested a controversial textbook that they say is riddled with factual errors and has racist undertones.

After the protest, which began at 10 a.m. in front of the Texas Education Agency building, State Board of Education members heard public comments on the textbook called "Mexican American Heritage."

It wasn't the first protest over the book. In September, hundreds gathered to urge the board to reject the book for the 2017 school year.

A review of the book found 68 factual errors, 42 "interpretive errors" and 31 "omission errors." The book's critics highlight passages such as "Stereotypically, Mexicans were viewed as lazy compared to European or American workers” and “It was also traditional to skip work on Mondays, and drinking on the job could be a problem."

The publisher said the book was the only submission received for the subject area -- and one the current board didn't ask for.

The board's power to control textbooks was stripped in 2011 after battles over creationism. Now, the board can only recommend books.

After Tuesday's public hearing, the board will take an informal vote Wednesday followed by a final vote on the issue Friday. If they decide to keep the textbook, it will then be up to school districts to decide whether they will use it in their classrooms.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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