Target: Commissioner of Education in Texas Michael Williams
Goal: Remove history textbooks in Texas schools that downplay racism in the United States.
Educators and political leaders are concerned that new textbooks whitewash America’s history of racism and slavery. These books skim over issues such as Jim Crow laws, slavery, and according to some historians and educators, provide inaccurate reasons for the cause of the Civil War. They are to be issued to five million high school students in Texas.
History textbooks shouldn’t downplay or tweak events in history–these books should tell the entire truth about America’s legacy. If you believe these textbooks should be removed from high schools and replaced with ones that give accurate details about American history, sign this petition.
While it is true that each history textbook tells a different story about American history, it is concerning that politicians are stepping in and influencing what material appears in these books. With Republicans and Democrats differing on what caused the Civil War in the United States–Republics believing it was states’ rights and then slavery, Democrats believing both states’ right and slavery–educators are concerned that students will not be given an accurate picture of United States history. Ultimately, the Board of Education decided to tone down the role of slavery.
What should also be worth mentioning is that the state’s publisher for these books, McGraw-Hill Education, states that the information within the books is accurate and paints a picture of America’s complex history. However, the publisher will not be selling these books outside of Texas.
Fortunately, educators are opting towards using other materials to teach their students. Educators will use different textbooks and cover issues that are not covered in this new textbook. However, it is deeply concerning that the Board of Education does not wish to teach students the full story. Sign this petition and tell the Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams, that these new textbooks need to be removed and replaced with ones that provide an accurate representation of American history.
Dear Commissioner Michael Williams,
Recently, Texas’ Board of Education agreed on releasing a history textbook that skirts important issues in United States history. Educators and politicians alike are concerned that this textbook will misinform students and provide them with an inaccurate picture of American history. I for one agree, as issues such as slavery and Jim Crow laws should be discussed before a student leaves high school.
I request that the state’s Board of Education remove this inaccurate textbook and replace it with one that illustrates what truly happened in American history. Historians agree that slavery and states’ rights played a huge role in the Civil War, and that slavery shouldn’t be downplayed. Other racial issues also need to be discussed and while teachers can do it themselves, these textbooks are supposed to aid in lesson plans, not be detrimental to them. I urge you to remove these books and provide one that accurately depicts both the good and bad points of American history.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lin Kristensen