The text is riddled with over 140 factual errors that are blatant unprofessional and frankly disqualifying.
By State Rep. Carol Alvarado
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN Texas
As a state representative I am compelled to represent my district provide oversight to state agencies and make public policy that is good for the state as a whole. And I have some grave concerns about the direction of our cultural education process.
Today I speak in opposition to the adoption of the Mexican-American Heritage textbook.
When using a textbook to educate our children on any subject:
- the most critical function of that book should be accuracy above all else.
- Second it should be unbiased and devoid of speculation in place of facts.
- And finally we should assume that such a textbook should be written edited and peer reviewed by legitimate experts.
The text is riddled with over 140 factual errors that are blatant unprofessional and frankly disqualifying for consideration of adoption. For example on pg. 454 it says Due to the fact that illegal immigrants fear deportation and involvement with legal authorities crime and exploitation can circulate unabated in their neighborhoods. Those who have hostile views towards American government and culture may also gain strongholds in immigrant communities because of the difficult challenges they face. This may express itself in various unhealthy ways
This conjecture is actually presented as a fact in this textbook which is just one of many factual errors.
The text is rife with biased offensive and deceptive speculation about racial minorities in place of facts. It is not only insulting but misleading in a way that suggest to the reader to adopt a prejudicial and condescending perspective about racial minorities. As an example on page 248 the book states that Stereotypically Mexicans were viewed as lazy compared to European or American workers.….
Who held these stereotypes? Who does this opinion belong to? This is just one of many examples of pure misplaced speculation.
The textbook was not authored edited or approved by experts on Mexican-American heritage but rather categorically rejected by experts that have reviewed the book. For example in Chapter 5 there were no Mexican Americans quoted in the entire chapter no women quoted or even mentioned in the chapter the only peer-reviewed scholarship cited is a book published in China on Chinese laborers and the making of the railroad. Perhaps even worse the primary sourcing for a Benito Juarez speech in Chapter 5 is from 123helpme.com a place where procrastinating students go to plagiarize their essays.
The following is a list of experts that did review this book and found it woefully inappropriate: Prof. Emile Lester University of Mary Washington Prof. Jos Maria Herrera University of Texas at El Paso Dr. Yolanda Chvez Leyva University of Texas at El Paso Prof. John Mckiernan-Gonzalez Texas State University and Dr. Rogelio Senz University of Texas at San Antonio.
Thats three strikes and I think we all know that in baseball three strikes means youre out.
While this is not baseball this is something far more important and that is to educate our children about the world in an accurate and unbiased manor. I would also argue the bar for adoption of a textbook should be much higher than just three strikes we should expect nothing less than the best for our state.
And in the case of this book it is frankly an embarrassment to Texas that it is even considered at this point. Texas is better than this. We must do better than this.
Please vote to reject this textbook from further consideration.
Carol Alvarado is State Representative for Texas 145th House District which includes southeast Houston a portion of the historic Houston Heights as well as the cities of South Houston and Pasadena. Before being elected to the Texas House she served on the Houston City Council and as Houston Mayor Pro Tem.