"Mexican American Heritage," is the first textbook on Mexican Americans ever included in a list of pre-approved instructional materials for
public schools. The authors must have been fans of Donald Trump before it was
cool because they attribute poverty, drugs, crime, non-assimilation, and
exploitation to Mexican Americans and link the ethnic group to illegal
immigration. Apparently the history books’ authors don’t understand enough
history to realize that many Mexican American families can trace their roots in
Texas to a time when it was part of Mexico. In case
I’m not being the clear, the border moved not the people.
In another part of the book they claim “Studies have shown that the Mexican American community suffers from a significant gap in education levels, employment, wages, housing, and other issues relating to poverty that persist through the second, third, and fourth generations". These are the same insults used against every other ethnic group that has ever set foot on this continent since the 1700s. Irish Catholics, Italians and Poles are just a few of the groups who have suffered such ethnic slurs over the last 300 or so years.
As it turns out the publisher of this travesty of a textbook is owned in part by Republican activist and former State Board of Education (SBOE) member Cynthia Dunbar. This is the same woman who questioned whether public education was even constitutional. Apparently she shares Donald Trump’s aversion to reading our founding documents since the Texas Constitution states: “A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”
There are numerous like minded members of the SBOE still in office, one of them represents our district. Ken Mercer has supported textbooks and curricula that even other conservative groups like the Fordham Institute consider bad. Here’s what they had to say “Indeed, both in public hearings and press interviews, the leaders of the State Board of Education made no secret of their evangelical Christian-right agenda, promising to inculcate biblical principles, patriotic values, and American exceptionalism. And politics do figure heavily in the resulting TEKS. . . . Complex historical issues are obscured with blatant politicizing throughout the document. Biblical influences on
founding are exaggerated, if not invented. The complicated but undeniable
history of separation between church and state is flatly dismissed.”
Mercer also claims that evolution is a hoax. Even the conservative Catholic Church has accepted the science of evolution since the 1950s and Pope Francis has reiterated that position recently. I spent 12 years in Catholic schools and well remember the high school biology lessons including evolution.
Now here’s the good part, you have an opportunity this November to retire Ken Mercer by voting for Rebecca Bell-Metereau. She’s a professor at
Texas State University
in San Marcos, her daughters went to public
schools here in .
Bell-Metereau knows education and what we can do to make it better for all Texas children. If you
don’t have a single other reason to vote in November improving the education of
the next generation of Texans by replacing a reactionary with a professional
educator should be more than enough. Texas