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Textbook Intended to Teach Mexican-American Heritage Sparks Outrage for Using Anti-Immigration Rhetoric

Textbook Intended to Teach Mexican-American Heritage Sparks Outrage for Using Anti-Immigration Rhetoric

Texas is under national scrutiny once again for instructional materials that many are criticizing for misrepresenting history to the disadvantage of minority groups.

This time, the controversy revolves around a textbook that has been developed to teach students in Texas Public Schools Mexican American Heritage.

The instructional materials were created in response to the Texas School Board voting to include Mexican American studies in the state’s curriculum, but activists who pushed for the change are not happy with the only textbook to be created thus far.

According to CBS News, the textbook in question "links Mexican-Americans to undocumented immigrants, saying illegal immigration has 'caused a number of economic and security problems' in the U.S. that include 'poverty, drugs, crime, non-assimilation, and exploitation.’”

Sounding eerily familiar to Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric, many individuals are saying that they will not be using the textbook if it is approved after a committee review this fall.

If the book is approved, it will become a recommended instructional material but no district will be required to adopt it for use.

This isn’t the first time a textbook in Texas has caused a stir for misrepresenting history. Texas in one of 20 states that must adopt textbooks through its state board and has come under scrutiny on numerous occasions for overly-politicized decisions.

Last year, a parent of a high school student in a Texas school district brought attention to a passage of her son’s history textbook that referred to American slaves as “workers,” sparking swift social media outrage and immediate action from the book’s publisher, McGraw-Hill Education.

But later on, the company’s president David Levin would go on to defend the book after arguing that it had been fairly reviewed and approved through the Texas state textbook adoption process in 2012. What Levin didn’t acknowledge is that for many, that’s the problem in itself.

For Texans looking to give their opinion on “Mexican American Heritage,” they have an opportunity to submit comments on the textbook until September.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

6/20/2016 

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