Professors: Mexican-American history textbook is 'offensive'

Historians in the News
tags: education, textbooks, Mexican American history

Calling a proposed Mexican-American history book "offensive" and "riddled with factual errors," history professors and a coalition of ethnic education activists on Monday demanded the state reject the controversial textbook.

The call follows several years of bitter ideological wrangling on the Texas State Board of Education over what should be included in history and science textbooks approved for public school students. The proposed book up for approval this fall, titled "Mexican American Heritage," sanitizes discussions about Mexican-American contributions to society and whitewashes American history, professors told reporters at a press conference at the Texas Education Agency.

"The authors don't even seem interested enough in the subject to know the difference between Mexican Americans and other Latino communities or the fact that their histories in this nation are completely different from each other," said José María Herrera, an assistant professor in education at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Professors who reviewed various sections of the text based on their specialties said they found three to seven errors per page in the nearly 500-page book.

"The excessive factual interpretation and omission errors render the proposed textbook useless and even counterproductive as a textbook for Mexican-American history," said Emilio Zamora, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. "I found an average of five to seven serious, serious errors per page." ...

Read entire article at Houston Chronicle

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