SBOE rejects that lousy Mexican-American studies textbook


The State Board of Education voted 14-0 Wednesday to deny the adoption of a Mexican-American studies textbook decried by opponents as racist and inaccurate.

The textbook, titled “Mexican American Heritage,” was the only submission the board received when it made a 2015 call for textbooks for high school social studies classes, including Mexican-American studies.

But critics say the book is riddled with factual, “interpretive” and “omission” errors and doesn’t meet basic standards for use in classrooms.

Wednesday’s vote wasn’t the last step, as the board will take a final vote Friday. The only board member not present for the vote was David Bradley. In emails obtained through a state open records request by Texas Freedom Network, a left-leaning advocacy group, the Beaumont Republican had written that a “lack of quorum on [the book] would be nice. Deny the Hispanics a record vote. The book still fails.”

With as much dignity and gravity as I can muster, I say “Neener neener” to you, David Bradley. It’s what you deserve.

The Chron reports on the hearing at which opponents of the textbook far outnumbered its supporters.

State education board members on Tuesday grilled the publisher of a controversial Mexican-American studies textbook about alleged errors, all but promising to reject the proposed book later this week.

Members of the State Board of Education are poised to vote Friday on whether to adopt “Mexican American Heritage,” a textbook that university professors and historical experts argue is riddled with errors, cherry-picks sources and claims immigrants have radical ideas that pose a cultural and political threat to American society.

“This book offers one thing. It offers hatred. It offers hate toward Mexican-Americans,” said Ruben Cortez Jr., a member from Brownsville.

Board members from both parties spent nearly two hours of a public hearing peppering Momentum Instruction CEO and owner Cynthia Dunbar about reported errors in the proposed textbook.

“You have submitted a textbook that will be rejected” from landing on the state’s preferred textbook list, said board member Erika Beltran, D-Fort Worth, who criticized Dunbar for failing to recall the credentials of the book’s authors. “We’re not just talking about a textbook on Mexican-American heritage, we’re talking about the education of 5 million kids.”


Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, who said in September the book was “dead on arrival,” stressed the board needs to focus on the errors that Dunbar has refused to fix.

“I’m not a scientist, but I know enough to know that communism does not cause natural disasters,” said Ratliff, referring to a passage in the textbook that links the two. Dunbar said the passage was “not a verified factual error,” then later agreed to change the sentence.

Emilio Zamora, a University of Texas at Austin professor who reviewed the text, accused the authors and publisher of arrogance by refusing to acknowledge the problems.

“Not once do they agree with any of our findings of error – not once,” said Zamora, shaking his fist behind a podium before the state board. He and a team of professors reported finding 407 errors in the book’s latest version.

See here and here for some background, and here for the report on how crappy this textbook was that SBOE member Ruben Cortez’s ad hoc committee put together. This issue won’t go away for long. The SBOE will put out another call for a hopefully non-crappy textbook, so there should be more submissions in the future. And just to make this all the more fun, to-be-rejected publisher Dunbar is threatening a lawsuit if she gets rejected, because by God you just don’t do that in Donald Trump’s America. Or something like that. The Trib, the Observer, the Current, the Texas Freedom Network, the DMN, and the Austin Chronicle have more.

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11 Responses to SBOE rejects that lousy Mexican-American studies textbook

  1. Neither Here Nor There says:

    My two cents, Dan Patrick stated they need to reach out to Hispanics. They can win with Harris County and keep winning Texas with such support from the Latino Community. They don’t need the other groups to win.

    Many of the Mexican Americans that I know that voted for Trump did so because of abortion and same sex marriage. How is the Democratic Party going to address that?

    The Republicans are reaching out, 14 to 0, they are listening will the Democratic Party in Harris County and Texas listen?

    Will Ed Gonzalez start deporting people the way Adrian Garcia did?

    Will Lane Lewis close the door on the DREAMers the way he did?

    Will the Democratic Party reach out to new Latinos are will they keep relying on the same old horses that get them no where?

  2. Neither Here Nor There says:

    How I wish there was an edit button, or that I would learn to read what I wrote before pushing submit.

  3. brad m says:


    Dan Patrick can “state” whatever he wants. His actions over the years has spoken volumes to the Latino and Hispanic community. Also, your short-term memory must have eluded you that Patrick was a state leader for Trump of recent “rapist and murder” presidential campaign fame.

    The Democratic party doesn’t need to “address” anything. The Democratic party has chosen their principled positions on these topics. The Mexican-Americans you know must be the “wonderful” people that Trump speaks of (out of the side of his mouth).

    It appears you are obviously are unfamiliar with and don’t know the partisan make up of the State Board of Education and have erroneously assumed that this governmental body is all Republican. Dominguez, Cortez, Beltran, Gomez….do you think these are Republican sounding names?

    The edit button you need is your brain before you touch the keyboard in the first place.

  4. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Brad m people like you is what drives those Latinos to the poles to vote or not to go vote. Keep thinking what you want, but I think I know the community better than almost anyone here in Harris County.

    Since you are into insults keep it up and I won’t give a hoot what happens to the Democratic party, how good did Wendy do?

    So tell me smart guy how many Republicans are on the Board?

    Please refrain from calling someone that is trying to help defeat Republicans stupid, because I will be glad to compare my intellectual ability with you any day of the week.

    If in fact that is what the Democratic Party is like don’t expect to Harris County to be Blue in 2 years.

    How did you all do with that HERO ordinance? So brad be as stupid as you want. I proposed questions that should be addressed. The only stupid thing is people like you that will not consider them. You think you can get Latinos out to vote?

    You think you know what motivates them? I was stating a fact as to what Patrick stated. The Republicans know what they need to win. Tell me how is the Democratic Party matching the Koch brothers in their outreach to the Latino Community.

    I will ignore your stupidity and insults this once and after that, I may just decide to start voting Republican again and start working against the bigoted Democrats.

  5. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Brad why did Lane Lewis close the door on the DREAMers, is that the principle position of the Harris County Democrats?

    At one time I had a blog that got about a million hits a day, I must have been doing something right.

    All those things you said about Latinos, I copy, paste, and save to be used for later. Your comments about Latinos is now saved.

    They are wonderful people who believe that abortion is wrong and that man should not marry man, that men do not belong with women in the bathrooms. What a shame that people like you consider them bigoted and stupid, but you know what their voted count as much as yours does. Approximately have the United States just voted that way good luck converting them with your line of thinking.

  6. Neither Here Nor There says:

    half, I need to a full brain, right Brad.

    But Brad you are one stupid individual, go back to your fantasy world.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    I’m wondering at what level “Mexican-American Studies” will be offered. I’m assuming this will be an elective high school level course. Texas has many immigrant groups that have a long, storied, history here. Will there be classes offered for them, as well? Lots of German and Czech descendents in the Hill Country. Will there be elective classes for them?

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    I’m wondering at what level “Mexican-American Studies” will be offered. I’m assuming this will be an elective high school level course. Texas has many immigrant groups that have a long, storied, history here. Will there be classes offered for them, as well? Lots of German and Czech descendants in the Hill Country. Will there be elective classes for them?

    Doesn’t Texas history already cover significant historical figures, including Mexicans, like Juan Sequin? Plenty of Mexicans fought for the nation of Texas. They have a long, storied, history here in Texas that is already taught as part of Texas history.

  9. Steve Houston says:

    Neither, Ed Gonzalez has stated many times that he intends to stop the program that sends illegal immigrants out of the country though president elect Trump has stated that he intends to greatly increase such programs, also planning on punishing sanctuary cities (and presumably counties) in a move that will support Patrick’s promises to do likewise in the upcoming legislative session.

  10. Neither Here Nor There says:

    I hope so Steve, because more Democrats will turn this former Republican, Republican again. There is a man in the White House that can turn back the clock for many of us and if the only way that one can be accepted into being a Democrat is believing everything they do, good luck with.

    Immigration is not a big thing with me or many people like me, we don’t have family that are here undocumented. I know many people that are here undocumented and almost of them are good hard working family persons.

    I hope that Ed keeps that promise, because friends and relatives of people that are here illegally will probably be a force to be contented with.

    LIBRE goes and gives food, presents in many Latino community, they gather data, as people have to provide names, addresses, etc. They are gathering a data list that they use to promote Republican concepts. What is the Democratic Party doing in Harris County?

    If Democrats could accept a Democrat for Vice President that did not think abortion is correct why can’t they accept that others persons are religious. For them to make fun of their beliefs will not get anyone to vote for one’s party. At best they may stay home and not vote for either party.

    I have lived in Harris County, Houston, for over 40 years. I was involved in the Civil Rights struggles primarily with the Mexican American Community but also worked with many of the African American activists of the 60s and 70s. I knew the persons involved in the Dowling Street incident. I taught at the Huelga Schools, marched with the farm workers and involved in several protests and boycotts. I know the people, I still speak with many community people who are not involved in politics and I am very active in my neighborhood.

    But I keep score, if the Democrats are going to treat immigrants the same way as the Republicans then there is no reason to tell people that they should vote for Democrats.

    As to abortion and same sex marriage, Trump has stated he is fine with Same Sex marriage but not abortion. So what is going to do vet a conservative Supreme Court that feels the same way? Good luck finding one like that.

    Democrats need to reach out to others if they want to make Harris County Blue, but I honestly don’t hold out much hope for that. That is a shame because if Harris County become blue, Texas is not far away. That is my opinion.

  11. Bill Daniels says:

    If Ed Gonzalez refuses to turn over illegal alien criminals to ICE for deportation, then he ought to be charged as a co-conspirator for every crime one of them commits after they are released from his custody.

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