Members of the Board of Education in Texas just decided they don’t want university experts to fact-check textbooks for the state’s 5.2 million public school students. Voted down by a count of 8-7, the proposal of having academics review public school textbooks was brought forth by Republican Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff.
“I know people are concerned about pointy-headed liberals in the ivory tower making our process different or worse,” said Ratliff prior to voting, “but I hold our institutions of higher education in fairly high regard.”
Rather than academics, the board instead agreed to a panel of mostly people with “sufficient content expertise and experience,” which would be decided by the Texas education commissioner. The problem here is that conservative board members have a history of bringing in professionals that are much more about ideological than educational in their concerns. It’s been done in the past with evolution, climate change, and even how biblical figures may have influenced the United States of America.
Among those disappointed is Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom network, a board watchdog group. In a statement, she said, “With all the controversies that have made textbook adoptions in Texas look like a clown show, it’s mindboggling and downright embarrassing that the board voted this down.”