Friday, March 19, 2010

Texas Textbook Outrage: What you Can do to Help

I am departing, for a moment, from my usual irreverent posts to make a serious public outreach request. As you may know by now, the Texas Board of Education has voted initially, on a strict party line vote, to adopt an extremist right wing curriculum that will undermine the teaching of science and social studies education by, among many other things
  • Claiming that evolution is a lie and the separation of church and state is a myth;
  • Rewriting history to promote political agendas; and
  • Censoring authors, important historical figures, and ideas that don’t fit into their own narrow worldview.

How you can help: There’s a great organization in Texas doing yeoman work to get the word out and oppose this outrage: the Texas Freedom Network, whose mission statement is to advance “a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the religious right.”

About the Texas Freedom Network:
Founded in 1995, the Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of more than 30,000 religious and community leaders. Based in Austin, the Texas Freedom Network acts as the state’s watchdog, monitoring far-right issues, organizations, money and leaders. The organization has been instrumental in defeating initiatives backed by the religious right in Texas, including private school vouchers, textbook censorship and faith-based deregulation. 

As the resource of record on the religious right in Texas, the Texas Freedom Network has become a trusted source for producers and reporters from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, National Journal, TIME, all major U.S. broadcast and cable news media, the BBC and the American Bar Association Journal. Texas Freedom Network spokespeople have appeared on ABC World News Tonight and Nightline, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, Dateline NBC, FOX News and The O’Reilly Factor, 60 Minutes II, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.
Texas Freedom Network Outreach Coordinator Judie Niskala informed me that the “Just Educate” petition is TFN’s newly launched campaign to reform the Texas State Board of Education:
“As the only body monitoring and advocating at the SBOE in Texas, we feel it is important to not focus on one subject, but the overall dysfunction of this body. This petition will be used to demonstrate the widespread support for SBOE reform to the legislators during the next legislative cycle (unfortunately the Texas legislature only meets every other year, the next cycle will be January 2011).

Signing this petition will also add you to the SBOE Rapid Response team, which will keep you updated on relevant, timely action you can take. Being in Illinois, you will not be able to attend the next SBOE meeting for public testimony in May, but shortly the amendments and revisions will be online available for public comment. As soon as this happens TFN will send an alert and place information on how to comment on our website.

Finally, Texas Freedom Network will continue to educate members on the happenings at the board (our blog is a great way to remain up-to-date on the most recent goings-on), and we will continue to mobilize members when there are opportunities for public involvement. Most integral is to continue to keep what is happening in the public’s mind, so we can continue to put pressure on the Board. Due to public awareness, recent primary elections represented a major step forward for public education -- at least two of the members of the far-right faction will no longer be serving after the election in November. (find more information here.) TFN will be releasing a C3 voters guide for the general elections, to allow people to know where each candidate stands on the issue. It is through public awareness and pressure that we will be able to reform this board.”
Please sign the petition, join the organization, or subscribe for future information and updates. Texas Freedom Network is doing terrific and important work. You can contact TFN at:

Texas Freedom Network
P.O. Box 1624 // Austin , TX 78767

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a southerner, I can tell you that the South is always 100 years behind in the evolutionary process. I think everyone should put pressure on their school boards to not buy the books and maybe the other 49 (or at least 25 or 30) states might be able to bring down the racist backwards zealots in the State of Texas. Let real History Professors make decisons instead of the hypocritical deacons of Texas Churches. "The Man" - 1 ; Our Kids - 0